The Ancient City of Pingyao

The Old Town of Pingyao lies in Pingyao County in central Shanxi Province which is the best-preserved historic townscape in the regions populated by the Han ethnic group. If you are traveling here in Shanxi Province, please don’t miss it. It was constructed during the reign of King Xuan of the Western Zhou Dynasty (C.827-782B.C.) and has been a county seat ever since the establishment of the prefecture-and-county system in ancient China.

Nowadays, it is difficult to find such a solemn, peaceful and authentic Chinese town in modern China. Pingyao looks much the same as it did during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties. Have a day trip here you need to know that Pingyao is known mainly for three historical treasures: the ancient brick city wall, the Zhenguo Temple, and the Shuanglin Temple.

The city wall of Pingyao was originally built using rammed earth, and was rebuilt with bricks in 1370 during the reign of Emperor Hong Wu of the Ming Dynasty. The wall extends for six km, and testifies to the profound influence of Confucianism in this region, as the 3,000 embrasures on the wall are said to represent the number of disciples of Confucius, and the 72 small watchtowers represent his 72 top disciples.

Zhenguo Temple is famous for its building technique and the color-painted sculptures of the Five Dynasties. In terms of its building technique, the most representational is the Ten-Thousand-Buddha Hall, which is one of the three oldest timberworks in mainland China. In order to protect the Ten-Thousand-Buddha Hall from degradation under the eaves, a certain kind of large eave that is far longer and wider than the room itself was adopted when it was built. ‘Dougong’, a kind building technique, was applied to support the large eave.

Shuanglin Temple is originally called Zhongdu Temple. In the northern Song Dynasty, in order to memorialize Buddha who attained Nirvana under two trees in a forest, it was changed into ‘Shuanglin, ‘shuang’ meaning ‘two or double’, and ‘lin’ meaning ‘forest.’ All cultural relics inside the temple, such as the pagoda trees planted during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), stone tablets from the Song Dynasty, bells from the Ming Dynasty, colored sculptures and ancient constructions, are considered invaluable.

Pingyao occupies an important place in the financial history of modern China. After this tour we all know except that common character, the city also has its unique place. This city have a reputation of being a turtle that is because when we took a overlook of pingyao, Its shape just like a turtle as is known to all, turtle is a longevity animal and people who lived here must be hoped this meaningful symbol could protect their families exist forever. There are six gates in this city South gate is like the head of this big turtle. North Gate like the tail, the West Gate and East Gate are like the turtle’s feet. There is a well in each side out of the south gate. It says they are turtle’s clear eyes.

Walking along the street in Pingyao is just like in a big history museum and makes you feel peace and difference between the big cities. This city is the precious treasure was given by our ancestors, whenever, this memory can give us the great spiritual power during the lifetime.