The former residence of Hu Xueyan is probably the best preserved late Qing Dynasty residences in the city. Hu Xueyan was a famous businessman and founder of the Huqing Yutang Traditional Medicine Store (one of the two most renowned in the country). It was built in the 11th year (1872) of the reign of Emperor Tongzhi at enormous expense (100,000 taels of silver). There is a lot going on in this seemingly little area just across the road from the Drum Tower. There are three sections: The middle section was for reception and consultations; the eastern section was for pleasure and relaxation; and the western section was for living. Within the 1.78 acres of space are 13 towers, Zhiyuan Garden, pavilions, terraces, and a small bridge over a flowing stream – all ingeniously designed and harmonious landscaped. The nearly 55-foot rockery in the Zhiyuan Garden (built to honor Hu’s father) is the largest artificial karst cave in China. Hu Xueyan Villa is perfect for either the head or tail of a visit to Hefang street. Check out the Huqing Yutang Chinese Medicine Museum to see some more fine architecture from this period.
Fit it into a trip to Hefang Road. Located near the Drum Tower. Busses: 8, 13, 155.