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IELTS Speaking topic: A historic building

09/10/20142 minute read

Describe a historic building that you visited.
You should say:
where it was
what people do(or, were doing) there
why you went there
and explain how you felt about this building

Well, I’d like to talk about the Siheyuan in Beijing, which is the product of 3000 years of accumulated cultural wisdom and building practices. An average Siheyuan is situated in the north and faces south, and usually has its main gate located near the southeast corner of the courtyard with a screen wall just inside, maintaining the privacy of the residence. The courtyard is square, vast and of a suitable size. It contains flowers and is set up with rocks, providing an ideal space for outdoor life.

In the past, most Beijingers used to live in these courtyard buildings. Just from the size and style, you would be able to tell whether a courtyard house belonged to an average family or a powerful and rich one. But nowadays, living in a courtyard building is definitely a kind of a social status symbol in Beijing because the existing Siheyuan is really scarce and pricey.

The Siheyuan in Beijing attracts floods of tourists every day around the world, including me, to experience the unparalleled creation that was left behind by ancient Chinese craftsmen and its unique cultural treasure. Every time I bumped into some Siheyuan, I particularly adored the roof, the big wooden gate and the traditional Chinese ornaments. In addition, there are always large extended families living there together which normally made me feel warm.

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