Pingyao located in middle area of Shaanxi province and southernmost part of Taiyan Basin is a time-honored city with multiple cultural relics. Pingyao is an ancient city with a lot of ancient buildings, which are also preserved well.
|Pingyao Ancient Architecture |
Pingyao, historically called Gu Tao, was said to be the given land of Emperor Yao who was one of Chinese earliest forefathers. In time of Spring and Autumn, Pingyao was the territorial land of Jin Kingdom; During Warring States, Pingyao belonged to Zhao Kingdom; In Qin Dynasty, it belonged to Pingtao County. In 424, Pingyao finalized name as Pingyao
Ancient city of Pingyao located at north side used to be made in clay. It was said that Ying Jiepu who was the general of West Zhou Period built this ancient town. At early period of Ming Dynasty, for guarding against the invasion of remainders of troops of Yuan Dynasty, in 1370, the old city base and city wall were both extended, and gradually upgraded with brick. The city wall has 6163 meters long and 10 or 12 meter high. On the city wall, many ancient military-oriented buildings can be seen.
The whole ancient architecture was designed scientifically. South Street was taken as the middle axes, and on both sides of street, visitors can see City God Temple, Confucius Temple and Qingxu Taoist Temple on the left section of ancient town, as well as county-level government office headquarters, Martial Arts Temple and Jifu Temple on the right section. About the inside of the ancient town, there is a saying going like this: Four Large Streets, Eight Small Streets and Seventy Two Sinuous Lanes. The inside roads go across one another and the different size streets are easily distinguishable. Along the streets, both sides are two-story shop buildings or pavilions with the well-refined names or brands, and the rear sections of these buildings are the quadrilateral houses or named Siheyuan, often seen in Beijing Hutong, used for living. Currently, these buildings are gradually opened again to meet the needs of building Business Street of Ming and Qing Dynasties
The feature of Pingyao Ancient City is shown by the ancient architecture and ancient folk residences. Most of the local's residences belong to quadrilateral-style residences. Along the middle axes, these residential buildings are comprised of several yards or gardens. Middle part is most the low wall or some inside doors. Generally, the local residences form the basic structure of Chinese Characters like"Ao" and "Tu"(concave and convex). The main buildings are generally made of the bricks with the style of arch. The front side is made of wood with a lot of the traditional wood-carvings or brick carvings. There are more than 400 old quadrilateral residential buildings in Pingyao Ancient City.
|Pingyao traditional style |
of folk residence
Pingyao has a mass of ancient relics and old buildings. Three of them belongs to the important sites under national protection, which are City Wall, Shuanglin Temple and Zhenguo Temple; Six of them under the provincial-level protection, which are Grand Achievement Hall of Confucius Temple, Cixiang Temple, City Tower, Qingxu Taoist Temple, Old Site of Rishengchang Piaohao Private Bank and Jinzhuang Confucius Temple. There are also 90 cultural and historical buildings under the county-level protection.
Recently, the value of Pingyao Ancient City gradually has been recognized. In 1986, Pingyao was officially permitted to be the China Famous City for History and Culture. Many a Japanese architects considered ancient buildings of Pingyao not only is the cultural heritage of China but also belong to the whole world. UN experts from Human Habitat Center commented Pingyao was the center of world's ancient architecture.
Writer: David from Seeraa International
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