As one of the historic sites under State protection, Tianyi Pavilion was built in Ming Dynasty. It has weathered a history of more than 400 years and become the oldest library existent in China. After the expansion in the 80's, Tianyi Pavilion has become a well-renowned scenic spot.
The cottage used to be the library of Fan Qin before. Fan Qin, who called himself Yaoqing or Dongming, named his library "Dongming Cottage" and "One-self Cottage". The cottage was reconstructed in 1980.
Fan's Former Residence
It used to be the east hall of Fan's mansion and was later the residence of offspring. The Fan's Former Residence lay apart from Tianyi Pavilion, which was surrounded by the high walls on four sides. Thus, the library and residence are separated, a deliberate arrangement. The existing house dates back to the 9th year of Daoguang reign in Qing Dynasty.
Tianyi Library (see the picture on the right)
It is also called as the Precious-book House and was built between 1561 and 1566. The library served as the reading room of Fan Qin, a military officer of Ming Dynasty.
Fan Qin learned from the theory that "Tianyi produces water", so he used Tianyi as the name of his library to avoid fires. The whole library consists of one big room in the second floor and six rooms on the ground floor. Besides, a pond was dug in front of the library to extinguish fires.
In 1665, the 4th year of Kangxi reign in Qing Dynasty, Fan Guangwen, one of Fan Qin's offspring, added rockeries and ponds to the library and turned the library into a garden. The garden features happiness, richness and longevity, and is spotted by beautiful scenes like nine stone-me lions and one elephant. With its grace, elegance and pureness, the garden is typical of its kind then south of Yangtze river.
Fan Qin had a collection of some 70,000 books, 17,000 of which have remained till today and most of them belong to block-printed and hand-copied editions of Ming Dynasty. Some are the exclusive copies in the country, particularly those on the local history and examination systems in Ming dynasty. After the Liberation, the number of the ancient books collected in the library has reached 300,000 thanks to the continuous efforts of cultural relic workers and local book-collectors. Of these books, around 80,000 are rare books, an impressive number.
Chinese scholars of all dynasties showed great respect to classic scriptures, so a number of respect-scripture mansions were built in different provinces, cities and counties for the purpose of safe keeping. This mansion was once constructed on top of Chongyanxie Hill during Guangxu reign of Qing Dynasty and it moved to the place where it is now in 1935 when local people raised funds to repair Tianyi Pavilion.
There are 173 steles in total, 90 of which were moved here from Ningbo Municipal School and County School in 1935. The steles have kept records of the historical facts that the schools had been renovated 16 times from the 29th year of Emperor Shizu reign in Yuan Dynasty to the 24th year of Guangxu reign in Qing Dynasty. In addition, steles with mottoes, proverbs and inscriptions on them reflected the education system of that time.
At the time of the Republic of China, a scholar of Ningbo named Ma Lian gathered about 1,000 bricks of Jin Dynasty and kept them in a room, which he called "Qianjin Study". Later on he donated all his stuff to Tianyi Pavilion where one special room was spared for his donation and named after him.
As a relic of Jiajing reign of Ming Dynasty, it once served as a sacrifice pavilion in front of a tomb. Originally it was located in Zuguang Hill and moved here in 1959. The pavilion is well-known for its exquisiteness and magnificence, and a couple of pictures were carved on it, such as " fish jumping over a dragon gate", "two lions playing with a ball", "sea horse leaping over waves" and " kylin bringing treasure."
It is a construction of Qing Dynasty made of bricks and wood and features a stone-pillar structure. The Hall holds such famous relics as The Prose of Orchid Pavilion in Ming Dynasty and The Epitaph of Xue Wenming by Wen Zhengming.
Exhibition Hall of Ningbo Arts & Crafts
The Exhibition Hall of Ningbo Arts & Crafts in Furongzhou reflects the marvelous achievements in arts & crafts of Ningbo by displaying such works as the red wood carving, inlaid bones and wood and colorful paintings.
Exhibition Hall of Ningbo Historical Relics
The exhibits at the Exhibition Hall of Ningbo Historical Relics in the Qin ancestral temple are divided into five sections. Each section is of a separate theme but closely related with others, and thus shows the profile of the 7,000-year-long culture and history of Ningbo in all perspectives. These five parts are as follows: "Splendid culture in Hemudu", "Economic and Cultural Evolvement in Sanjiang District", "The Boom of Mingzhou port", "The Brave Deeds of Revolutionary Struggle " and "The Cradle of Human Civilization in Southeast China".
Address: 10# Tianyi Street, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province
Postal code: 315010