Map of DongCheng District with Location of Mao Zedong's Former Home hidden away in the Hutong. Click Map to go to Full Version.
DongCheng District Map
During his early period in Beijing in the years 1918 and 1919 AD Mao lived first at No. 8 Ji'ansuo Zuoxiang, or Lucky Peaceful Place Left Lane, which is located in the Jingshan Hutong Area. He lived there from From autumn of 1918 to spring 1919 AD with seven other young men, who were all founding members of Xinmin Institute (新民学会). The Xinmin institute was a revolutionary group founded by Mao Zedong and the others in Changsha on April 14Th of 1918 AD. Its main leaders as recorded in Chinese History were Cai Hesen and He Shuheng.
In spring of 1919 Mao briefly moved to Sanyanjing Hutong, the Three Wells Lane. It is unknown which exact address Mao stayed but not much later he again moved. This time he moved to Jingshan Dongjie' or Coal Hill East Street, the street running adjacent and East of the Jingshan Park, before ending up near the Belltower in Doufuchi Hutong, beancurd pond lane.
A view of Doufuchi Hutong from the corner of Bell Tower Market Square. The Courtyard Home on the left (with stairs) is now in use as a Fruit and Vegetable Market.
Mao's Hutong Home - Doufuchi Hutong, Directions
Although the Hutong Lane where Mao lived is easy to find from the vicinity of the Bell Tower, the general area of the City lies somewhat out of the way of the most visited Landmarks and Monuments.
Beijing's Bell-Tower and Drum Tower stand near the Northern End of the Central Axis of the Old Imperial City. Locate them easily on a Map by finding the Palace Museum in the exact center of the City, then follow the Central Axis through Jingshan Hill and Di'anmen Wai Dajie' to end up at the Towers.
In the recent Past the best way to reach the Towers was to travel by Taxi directly to the destination. A trip to the Towers by Subway/Metro was possible but required a stiff walk down from Gulou Station, which lies underneath the second ring road
Since the preparations for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing the situation has been much improved. That is, a direct Subway/Metro line (No.4 the aquatic blue line) has been constructed and is now open with a Station immediatly South-West of the Drum Tower.
A main street due West of the Towers, JiuGulou Dajie', heading North
towards the second ring road, has been widened substantially, sacrificing a layer of ancient and historic Hutong. Directions from Xinjiekou Subway Station are easy. Simply head towards the Drum Tower and walk around its Base to the Bell and Drum-Tower Square.
Bicycles parked in front of a historic building at Doufuchi Hutong.
The Bell and Drum-Tower Square lies exactly between both Towers and today it is a lively spot where tourist buses drop off their loads or pick them up, and where flocks of rickshaw drivers offer their services to Tour the nearby Hutong and the Houhai and Shichahai Lake Area.
Make your way past the Buses and somewhat pushy Rickshaw drivers to get to the Base of the Bell-Tower.
From here one can wind either way around the Bell-Tower, passing through Hutong to find another square located due North of the Bell-Tower. This is the somewhat famed Bell Tower Market of Beijing, a local sales spot for fruit and vegetables catering to families in the surrounding resedential area's.
From the Bell-Tower market it is only short hop to the North End. Turn right (East) to find the Doufuchi Hutong leading Eastwards for as far as the eye can see. Mao Zedong's former home is a rather
Fresh bread from the Bakery is taken to the nearby shops by Mini-rickshaw, a most common vehicle in Beijing. The small building is a neigborhood police station.
inconspicuous dwelling located at Number 15.
Head into Doufuchi Hutong past the ever present red banners and keep going until reaching Mao's Former Home.
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Various slogans calling for a better attitude among citizens are usually present at Doufuchi Hutong, a small tribute to the "Chairman".
It is easily identifyable when up-close by the various small plaquettes stuck on the front.
One plaquette identifies the house as a State Level Protected Relic and the Home of Mao Zedong. Another gives a short history of the Relic and Relic Site.
The Official style white-marble plaque declaring "Chairman" Mao Zedong's Home a National Historic Relic.
Have a Look around and try and imagine the past of this location.
History of Mao's Hutong Home in Beijing
Have a The Doufuchi Hutong No.15 was not the only place in Beijing where "Chairman" Mao lived. In Fact, even during his earliest Time in Beijing, in the years 1918 AD and 1919 AD, Mao Zedong had several different adresses,
A recently added metal plaquette explaining in short the history of Mao Zedongs' Hutong Home as a National Relic. Untill the end of the last Millenium the two courtyard residence was in use as Public Housing. However, it has now been preserved as a Museum.
all modest homes in the Hutong. In all there were 4 early adresses.
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Rows of Hutong Homes in the Northern Dongcheng District, the former residence of Mao Zedong is visible about halfway down the street.
The dusty Front and Front Gate of the former residence of Mao Zedong at Doufuchi Hutong in November 2004 AD. It is a quiet street with not much traffic in daytime.
During this time Mao maried the Professors Daughter (Yang Kaihui), and he lived with her nearby the Peking University in this small Hutong Home in DongCheng District just North-East of the Bell Tower of Beijing.
Through the recommendations of his older Friend the Professor, Mao was employed as a Library worker at the renowned Beijing University, a bullwark of political thought and activities.
In Beijing the now famed Li Dazhao, co-founder of the New Cultural Movement, was Mao's immediate Boss.
View of Mao Zedong former residence at the dusty Doufuchi Hutong in the North Section of Old Beijing, November 2004 AD. Today 'renovations' threaten the area.
Apart from this official former Residence in Beijing, Mao stayed at several other addresses within the City during this earliest period. Already mentioned were the 3 other addresses that Mao shortly used during his 1918/1919 stay in Beijing.
After 1919 AD, Mao left for Hunan and then later went to Shanghai in order to help create the Chinese Communist Party in 1922 AD (in which he played a very minor role at best).
For short period there was a United National Front with the Kuomintang resulting in various important Stations in the South, before the 1927 AD Shanghai Massacre and General Chiangs move into power ignited civil war and
A small side-street and the further extenses of Beancurd Pond Lane running Eastward (November 2004 AD).
in the Autumn Harvest Uprising, which resulted in the establishment of the First Ever Chinese Soviet and Revolutionary Base in the mountains of Jiangxi Province. There, Mao was the Chairman of the independent Government, earning him the lasting nickname "Chairman" Mao.
With the failure of the United Front, a price on his head from Chiang-Kai Shek and the Kuomintang nationalist Government which had established itself in Nanjing, Mao embarked upon his life-time adventure of the Chinese Revolution, of which he would become the Leading Star and Figure.
Years later, to be exact in late April of 1949 AD, Mao Zedong triumphantly returned to Beijing. His first Beijing home after return would be the Fragrant Hills Villa, which today serves as a luxury Hotel. It can be found in the Western Hills of Beijing at Fragrant Hills Park (Mentougou District). Later, after the declaration of the establishment of The Peoples Republic of
China on October 1st of 1949 AD, Mao and the entire Politburo of the now ruling Communist Government moved to Zhongnanhai, a lavish complex with Palaces and Ponds, once known as the Western Gardens of the Gugong, The Imperial Palace. He resided there until his Death in 1976 AD.
After many years of revolutionary turmoil, peace has finally returned to Mao's doorstep....
Library Mao became a part-time student of the
University, mainly engaging himself in readings on political thought and theory, and taking lectures from famous intellectuals of the time. These intellectuals were Chen Duxiu, Hu Shi, and Qian Xuantong, all Men whom would later become famous. Some were martyred for their Socialist cause.
It was in Beijing and while living at Bean Curd Pond Lane, during a tense, sometimes dangerous time in the City, that Mao was introduced to the idea's of Communism through works of Marx and Lenin.
While the Chinese Nation was stirred throughout by the May the 4Th Movement and the resulting New Cultural Movement, Mao - who had previously been engaged in organizing peasant and worker protests in his native Hunan, was only just becoming
The Traditional Drum Stone outside the Door of the Quadrangle House that was once Mao Zedong's Residence in Beijing. The twin lotus flowers on the side symbolize conjugal affection. Was this the stone that Mao passed on his way to work each morning?
aquainted with the fundamental works of socialism and communism. He was not regarded as an important figure at all, in fact some of the
A filthy side-alley between two red brick structures across from the "Chairman's" Home. (November 2004 AD).
Mao's Zedong in Beijing
During the May the 4Th Protest of 1919 AD Mao traveled to Beijing with his high school teacher and benefactor Professor Yang Changji, a Man who held a faculty position at the Peking University and who arranged for Mao to be in an important position for further developments in his Life.
communists at the University rated Mao as a simple peasant who was below their social rank. Often Mao was completely shunned, perhaps explaining some of his later aggressive attitudes against perceived indignations and class attitudes.
According to sources this Home at Beancurd (Tofu) Pond Lane was actually a home belonging to Mao Zedong's teacher Yang Changji. Mao moved in later after establishing a solid friendship with the Old Professor and tieing the knot with Yang Kaihui, the professors daughter and the Mother of three of Mao's children.
Mao lived in a small bedroom adjacent the Front Courtyard, whereas the Inner Courtyard was reserved for the Professor and his Wife, as was customary at the Time.
When the Museum is open one can go inside to have a look in the South-East corner of the courtyard to see the modest room where the "Chairman" slept in 1919 AD.
Map of the popular ShichaHai (3 Lakes) area of Beijing Old City.
As the House where Mao resided at the very start of his National career the Hutong
Home is now a Nationally protected relic of the Past. Apart serving to show the masses and visitors how humble and meager even the Chairman's dwellings had been, it also helps perpetuate the important myth of Mao's
'heroic' life (it was not as glorious as portrayed, by far), which has been enshrined into core party philosophy and, although unimaginably distorted by propaganda, still serves as the moral justification for the rule of the Communist Party in China today.
Not too many visit, and often the place is closed to the Public. Most visitors are foreigners who come down for a quick glance without knowing the real backgrounds to Mao and the story of Beijing. Go down for a look yourself. Visit the Bell- and/or Drum-Towers and then make the short walk Northwards to see where Mao lived during his early socialist education at Beijing University in the years 1918 and 1919 AD.
forced Mao Zedong, the Propaganda Minister of the National Government, to place his definitive bet on the Communist side. From then on Mao embarked on the true revolutionary path supported by the Chinese Communist Party and the KomIntern in Moscow. On orders of these, Mao got himself involved
The former Hutong Home of Mao Zedong, Beancurd Pond Lane Number 15, the place where Mao first resided in Beijing, lies near the Bell Tower in the Northern Section of the Dongcheng District of Beijing. It is a modest Hutong Home hidden away just a short stroll away from Beijing's kozy and well-known Bell Tower Street Market. Beyond the Towers lies the Houhai Lake, the erstwhile gathering place of Beijing's artists, intellectuals, poets and literati.
West of TiananMen on Chang An Avenue the Gate of New China is the south gate to ZhongNanHai, a former Imperial Garden and Lake, now home to the Leadership of China and its Communist Party. Find out what is known about this secret Palace.
Other former Residences of Mao Zedong in Beijing :
In 1949 AD, after his arrival by airplane on March 25Th in Beijing, Mao Zedong and the Central Committee of the Communist Party stayed at a Villa in the Western Hills. Now known as the Fragrant Hills Hotel and located inside the Fragrant Hills Park in far west Haidian District, the Hotel annex Former Home of Mao can be visited.
Mao Zedong Former Residence in Caishikou, now the Hunan Guild Hall