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Formation of the Hutong
Introduction of Formation of the Hutong
Hutong means a passage between rows of Siheyuan courtyard house, the traditional residence of Beijingers, each consisting of rectangle courtyard surrounded by one-storeyed tile-roofed houses. The quadrangles varied in size and design according to the social status of the residents. The big quadrangles of high- ranking officials and wealthy merchants were specially built with roof beams and pillars all beautifully carved and painted, each with a front yard and back yard. However, the ordinary people's quadrangles were simply built with small gates and low houses.
In fact, Hutong is passageways formed by many closely arranged quadrangles of different sizes. The specially built quadrangles all face the south for better lighting; as a result, a lot of hutongs run from east to west. Many small hutongs went north and south for convenient passage between the big hutongs. Thus Hutong formed.
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