China Travel Photography

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location map of Cao Family Compound

Detail (click image for full map):曹家大院的位置Location of Cao Family Compound -- green arrow

Region: 山西Shanxi

曹家大院图片Cao Family's Compound Pictures

  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂 Cao Family's Compound

    The three-stories high mansions, called "统楼"("tonglou"), on the north side of the rectangular compound.

  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂 Cao Family's Compound

    One of the courtyards that has a stone sculpture in the shape of a 元宝, a standard Chinese gold nugget.

  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂 Cao Family's Compound

    Another courtyard. The sophisticated doorway has a well-decorated eave supported by painted 斗拱dougongs (brackets). In front is a stone sculpture in the shape of a 元宝, a standard Chinese gold nugget. In the back is a grand 门楼(menlou), a structure consists of a set of columns that supports the 斗拱(brackets) that in turn support the protruding eave. 门楼(menlou) is an essential part of Chinese architecture.

  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂 Cao Family's Compound
  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂 Cao Family's Compound
  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂 Cao Family's Compound
  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂 Cao Family's Compound

    Looking below toward south from the window of the 3-tiered mansions. The double-ridged roofs, like every part of the compound, were carefully considered and designed.

  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂 Cao Family's Compound

    Looking below toward south from the window of the 3-tiered mansions. The double-ridged roofs, like every part of the compound, were carefully considered and designed.

  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂 Cao Family's Compound
  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂 Cao Family's Compound
  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂 Cao Family's Compound
  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂 Cao Family's Compound
  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂 Cao Family's Compound

    Looking toward the west end of the compound.

  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂 Cao Family's Compound

    Looking toward the west end of the compound.

  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂 Cao Family's Compound

    Looking toward the east end of the compound. The east doorway was used as the tourist entrance at the time I was there.

  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂 Cao Family's Compound
  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂 - 轿车 Cao Family's Compound

    A line of parked carriages -- the equivalent of today's luxury cars.

  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂 Cao Family's Compound
  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂 - 赏月亭 Cao Family's Compound

    The pavillion at the top of the three-tiered mansions. These are so called "Moon Pavillions" - to better admire the moon. On each of the three pavillions are cutouts of a cow, lamp and pig head.

  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂 - 赏月亭 Cao Family's Compound

    On each of the three pavillions are cutouts of a cow, lamp and pig head. This one appears to be a lamp.

  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂正门 Cao Family's Compound - Main Entrance

    The front entrance, which is located on the south side of the rectangular compound. The tourist entrance was around the corner on the east side. The extraordinary and intricate 门楼(doorway architecture) is typical of wealthy homes and is a sign of importance.

  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂 Cao Family's Compound

    The west side of the compound. This area is more of less the backyard. At the time I was here, renovations were underway to expand the area.

  • Picture of 曹家大院 - 三多堂 Cao Family's Compound

    Village children playing in the large open area before the main entrance.

image of Wudangshan temple

The extraordinary temple complex in 湖北Hubei's legendary Daoist mountains - the source of much of China's famed 功夫Gongfu tradition.

image of Tulufan's Emin MinaretPortriat of a Uygur girl in 二堡乡 Erbaoxiang

See 吐鲁番Tulufan's well-known attractions -- 苏公塔Sugonta (Emin Minaret), 高昌城Gaochang Ruins, and 火焰山Huoyan Shan (Flaming Mountains).

My translations of some Chinese poems.

Travelogues and travel notes.

trucks on the desert road

Pictures I took while on a bus traveling through the sandy deserts of 甘肃Gansu on my way to 嘉峪关Jiayuguan.

Travel Information

Getting There:

From 太原市Taiyuan City, the provincial capital of 山西省Shanxi province, take the bus to 太谷县Taigu County at the 建南汽车站Jiannan Bus Station (South Bus Station). 曹家大院 - 三多堂Cao Family's compound is about 5 km. southwest of 太谷县Taigu county, in the northeast corner of 北村Beicun (north village). The easiest way to reach the compound is to hire a taxi (Y10), which is what I did since I don't know exact location. The other way is to take any bus south on the 108 nation highway and stop at the village front. From there it will take 15 - 20 mins. (and a few turns) to reach the compound. This is the way I got back to Taigu, after I knew how to get in. From the 108 highway, I hopped on any bus (Y4) going north and hopped out at Taigu.

Accomodations:

I don't know if any type of accomodations were available in the village, but it is best to stay in Taigu county, which is quite an interesting town. The town has other interesting sites and structures, such as its drum tower, 无边寺Wubiansi Pagoda, and 孔家大院Kong Family Compound. I stayed at a guesthouse right near the highway. At night there are plenty of places to go out and eat. One can easily walk much of the town or navigate the town on its few lines of buses.

Entrance Ticket:

28 Yuan. Summer 2006.