Lei Family Bridge

Lei Family Bridge was a village in the outskirts of Beijing. The village was demolished in 2009, with plans of building a golf course. The plans were never executed, and the village remains in ruins to this day.[1]

The village consisted of about 300 families, all of whom were moved to distant parts of Beijing city. The village was on the key pilgrimage route to Mount Yaji (a shrine dedicated to Our Lady of the Azure Clouds) and was a rest stop for pilgrims. The village is named after the Lei family, known for its pilgrimage group, which performed stories of the imperial courts (as old as 800 years old) for pilgrims visiting the shrine. As of 2014, the last member of the Lei family would gather with his colleagues at the highway overpass near the original site of the village and perform for the public.[2]

The Lei family was also known for being the architects and builders of many of the imperial buildings of the Qing dynasty. A number of these are now designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Yangshi Lei Archives, pertaining to the “Lei style” of architectural designs, were added by UNESCO to its Memory of the World Register in 2007.[3]

Among the few buildings and structures still intact is the village headquarters of the Communist Party of China and a temple, where the Lei family performed their entertainment routine. The temple was constructed in the 18th century using tiled roofs and wooden beams and is enclosed by a seven-foot high wall.[2]


  1. ^ Johnson, Ian (11 April 2017). The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. pp. 387–389. ISBN 9781101870068.
  2. ^ a b Johnson, Ian (1 February 2014). "In China, 'Once the Villages Are Gone, the Culture Is Gone'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  3. ^ Mok, Laramie (19 March 2018). "Who are the Leis? The legendary family of architects who served China's emperors". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 1 November 2019.