Location: No.1, Taijichang, Beijing
Google Earth views of location:
GPS co-ordinates: N39.906500 E116.411350
Cost: No cost to view from street
Access: Nearest metro station: Wangfujing, on the Red Number 1 line, close to Tian’anmen Square. The entrance to the Youxie complex Note that Wangfujing is a well-known shopping street 500m to North of No. 1 Taijichang.
Website: For the ‘About us’ page of Youxie‘s website: click HERE. Note that it includes more photos of their complex.
Rewi Alley spent his latter years (from 1953 to his death in 1987) in Beijing.
From 1953, until he moved into this apartment (in 1958) Alley was housed in the Peking Hotel, along with other foreign friends of China – Israel Epstein, Sydney Shapiro, Isabel and David Crook, Sydney Rittenberg, etc.
His apartment, from 1958, is located in the current Youxie compound, in Taijichang Street, central Beijing (to East of the National Museum of China). Only the outside of the original complex is visible from the street. The inside is not generally open for visitors; access is provided to delegations and for meetings. This remained Rewi’s abode in Beijing until his death in 1987.
If you do view Rewi’s Beijing place of residence from the gate (note that his building is inside and just to the right of the gate), please be sensitive to the gate keepers’ role to restrict access, and respect any requests to move on or refrain from taking photographs..
Rewi’s apartment is in what used to be the Italian legation (in the Legation Quarter) up to 1951. It is a beautiful Italianate wooden-framed building and his rooms are preserved: a bedroom and study, with his furniture, artworks, and even his hat and cane!
Rewi and other ‘foreign friends of China’ were given accommodation in 1958 by the Chinese People’s Association for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries (CPACR). The CPACR was forerunner of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC)]. The CPAFFC is a national people’s organization of the People’s Republic of China and it answers to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is known colloquially as Youxie.
Youxie was set up to enhance friendship with foreign peoples, further international co-operation in safeguarding world peace and promoting common development.
On top of all its many jobs promoting friendship throughout the world, Youxie also is self-appointed keeper of Rewi Alley’s heritage in China. It maintains a catalogue of many of his literary works and the Chinese artefacts that Rewi collected during his 60 years in China.
This article is based on a report by Jane Furkert of her work: ‘An Independent Travellers’ Guide to Rewi Alley Locations in China, 2016’, that was funded by the Rewi Alley Friendship and Exchange (RAFE) Fund.