This is probably one of the best-preserved examples of a courtyard house in the city, though its size makes it anything but typical. The nine courtyards and landscaped gardens were originally built for Heshen, a member of the Imperial guard who rose to great power under Qing Emperor Qianlong. Responsible for the Imperial finances and the appointment of civil servants, Heshen abused his position to such an extent that he is widely seen as one of the most corrupt officials China has ever seen. Qianlong’s successor, Jiaqing, had Heshen executed in 1799, confiscated his fortune of 800 million ounces of silver and gave the property to Prince Qing. In 1851, Emperor Xianfeng gave the house to his brother, Prince Gong, the father of Puyi, the last Qing Emperor.