Ancient Towns – One of History's Favorites
Ancient towns in China generally refer to large residential places with a history of over 100 years and whilst some have been included as UNESCO world heritages, others have evolved into commercialized tourist attractions.
However there are still a large number that manage to retain their old style and in Hangzhou the following are just a few examples of history’s favorites.
Qinchuan Ancient Village (芹川古村) Qinchun is a typical Jiangnan style ancient village with a river running through it and flagstone bridges proudly mounting its riverside banks.
The biggest draw of Qinchuan Village is its 700 year old history and the large-scale antique building complex which is highlighted by its ancient camphor trees. The antiquity of the village and the lively life of the villagers contrast and complement each other quite spectacularly.
Address: West of Langchuan Village, Chun’an County (淳安县浪川乡西部)
Xinye Village (新叶古村) Xinye Village is located in the southwest of Jiande City (county-level city under the administration of Hangzhou). The village currently is the largest gathering place of people surnamed Ye (叶) and is the epitome of the Chinese traditional Gengdu Culture (Farming and Studying Culture. In ancient China there is a large portion of people who live by farming while studying, which has then gradually evolved into a particular culture branch called Gengdu Culture).
Xinye Village has a history of over 800 years and is the dwelling place for more than 200 well-preserved ancient buildings dating back to the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasties (1644-1912). Surrounded by mountains and pools of lotus plants the village is intact, serene and peaceful, just like our interpretation of Shangri-la, especially in summer.
Address: Daciyan Town, Jiande City (建德市大慈岩镇)
Dipu Ancient Village (荻浦古村) The village, dating back 900 years ago, boasts of a profound culture and time-honored history and has two cultural and historical sites under the protection of Zhejiang province with another site on its way.
In 2006 the village was named 'Provincial Historical and Cultural Village' and in 2007 it was listed as one of the third groups of ‘National Historical and Cultural Villages’. It boasts of four cultures: filial culture, ancient opera culture, ancient paper making culture and ancient trees culture.
As for historical relics, inside the village is a well from the Song Dynasty (960-1279), a water system from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), a stone Paifang (Memorial Archway gate) from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) and an array of ancient temples, memorial halls and residential houses.
Inside the village are also a number of seasonal flowers which, with their bright colors and sweet aroma, greet visitors whatever the season.
Address: east of Jiangnan Town Tonglu County (桐庐县江南镇东面)
In Jiande, there is an ancient town that has experienced thousands of years of wind and rain. It has a beautiful name called Meicheng (Plum Blossom Town). Meicheng was the state town of the then Yanzhou and is now the county town of Jiande. It has a history of 1700 years.