When you have private China tours, you shold not miss Tianyi Pavillion.
Tianyi Pavilion in Ningbo of Zhejiang Province is not only renowned for its book collection, but also for its refined design of building. Tianyi Pavilion is the oldest ancient library in China. Occupying 26,000 square meters, Tianyi Pavilion was built by Fan Qin, a retired government official in the mid-Ming Dynasty. There are over 300,000 scrolls of ancient books collected in Tianyi Pavilion. Besides, plenty of calligraphies and paintings, rubbings and elaborate local handicrafts are also collected in the pavilion. The whole pavilion is separated into collecting, exhibition and garden area for entertaining. Centering on Precious Library, the collecting area is comprised of Dongming Thatched Cottage, the former residence of Fan Qin and his offsprings, Mingzhou forest of stone tablets and some other collecting places. In garden area, some scenic spots are included here, such as Ming Lake, artificial hills and Bai’e Pavilion. There are also Furongzhou, Ancestral Hall of the Wens and calligraphy and painting art center here. The ancient buildings and classical garden are also a big attractions for tourists to customize China tours.
For protecting the books in the pavilion, Fan Qing had made the family laws and one of them is “Any book mustn’t be moved out of Tianyi Pavilion”. However with the time went by, there are still many books lost. In 1808, Tianyi Pavilion had 4,094 scrolls of books and 53,000 books in total, while dozens of kinds of ancient books were plundered by British invaders during Opium War (1840-1842). From 1851 to 1861, thieves burglarized the pavilion and stole many books. Later they sold these books to missionaries and paper mill for the profits. In 1940, the pavilion only collected 1,591 scrolls and 13,038 books in total. After the founding of People Republic of China, the government set up the special organ to protect and seek the lost ancient books about over 3,000. Now, the total number of books reaches over 80,000 including the books donated by the local collectors.
Tianyi Pavilion was designated the national key cultural relics center by the State Council in 1982. The pavilion was upgraded to a national 4A tourist attraction in 2003, and selected as the national key department of protection of ancient books in 2007. Since then, it become a hot destination included in China travel packages.
Source of Article: http://www.articlestars.com/articles/1271294_Tianyi-Pavilion-%E2%80%93-a-Must-Go-for-All-Book-Lovers.html
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