Huang Shi Cheng, also named Biao Zhang Ku, was the imperial document library in the Ming and Qing Dynasties and has experienced 460 years of history so far. Located Nankou, Nanchizi Street, east of Tiananmen, Huang Shi Cheng covers an area of 8,460 square meters and its building area is 3,400 square meters. Huang Shi Cheng began to be built in July in the 13th year of Emperor Jiajing’s reign and was finished in July in the 15th year of Emperor Jiajing. This is the best preserved imperial document library so far in China.
Cheng (宬) refers to an ancient house where books are collected. The library was built by carved stone and the hall of it is not supported by pillars or beams. There are 1.42-meter-tall stone bases on the ground, on which over 150 wooden cases wrapped by bronze skin named Gold Cases. The entire design of Huang Shi Cheng looks beautiful and has multiple functions such as fire proof, anti-moisture, anti-insect and so on.
Inside these Gold Cases were once stored books that recorded the true stores of the past emperors and their famous words and imperial family trees. The Yongle Canon compiled in the Ming Dynasty was once collected in the library.
Opening hours: 9:00 - 17:00
Address: Nankou, Nanchizi Street, east of Tiananmen
Getting there: Take Subway Line 1, get off at Tiananmen East (Exit B) and walk 410 meters north; take Bus No. 1 to Tiananmen East and walk 350 meters north.