Gong Zi Ting got its name from its resemblance to the letter H (or the character gong) when seen from above, as two of its halls are interconnected by a short corridor.
Much like a courtyard house, it has four halls and three yards connected by winding galleries, which usher visitors into a complex yet extraordinary landscape.
A board that reads “Tsinghua Garden”, handwritten by the Xianfeng Emperor of the Qing Dynasty, greets people at the entrance.
When the university was established, Gong Zi Ting was transformed from the former imperial villa into a location for cultural exchanges and entertainment.
In the 1930s, the Department of Mathematics established its faculty office here. It is these unremarkable rooms that witnessed the birth of two world-renowned mathematicians in the modern history of China—Shiing-Shen Chern and Hua Luogeng.
When the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore visited China in 1924, he stayed at Tsinghua for nearly a week following a strong recommendation by Liang Qichao. They took a group photo on the lawn of the house.
According to Tsing Hua Weekly, the Tsinghua Academy of Chinese Learning was held here monthly at the workshops in Gong Zi Ting to share their knowledge through friendly exchanges.
Here the “Great Four Tutors” once attended graduation ceremonies and shared their concerns about the country’s destiny.
As a 400-year-old historical building, Gong Zi Ting has become a witness and narrator of many great stories here in Tsinghua for the last 110 years, and it certainly will continue capturing wonderful memories for the next 110 years.
Writer: Soon Yu
Editors: John Olbrich, Liu Shutian