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Sightseeing
About Pingyao

 

Pingyao is a famous historic cultural city of China and a world cultural heritage site. Located in the center of Shanxi Province, it 90 kilometers south of Taiyuan on the Fen River. The Dayun highway, the new Dayun Expressway and the Tongpu railway run north-south through or near it. Frequent trains and buses run between the two cities, taking about 1 1/2 hours.

Why Pingyao is attractive to both Chinses and foriegners?

There are four characristics of Pingyao:

1.The prototype of an ancient county seat

2.The birthplace of Shanxi merchants

3.Unique traditional residences

4.Remarks by famous people about Pingyao, authorized by the World Heritage Committee

The prototype of an ancient county seat
There are two historical features of Ming and Qing cities. One is that they were laid out according to strict protocol, with more important cities being larger in area. The kingdom capital occupied the largest area, of 9 square li (two li equals one kilometer), the capitals of dukes were 7 or 5 square li and seats of county governments, such as Pingyao, occupied 3 square li. The other is that the layout of Pingyao Ancient City reflects ecognizing right directions in both the entire city and the courtyards. They reflect the harmony of umans, universe and buildings. That is to say, they reflect the idea that eople and heaven combine into one,This relationship is reflected in the layout and formula of the traditional system and customs of the Han Nationality: five directions (north, south, east, west, and center) and four shapes, giving prominence to the center, strengthening the axis, and that facing south is honorable.

 


The birthplace of Shanxi merchants
During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, merchants organized commercial groups that engaged in business nationwide, with Shanxi Province having some of the most important ones and Pingyao as the center. The Xiyucheng dye store on Xi Da Jie dealt in remittance and in 1823 became the first draft bank in China, dealing in bank drafts rather than in silver or gold money. Known as Rishengchang (Sunrise Prosperity), it was the cornerstone of modern Chinese banking.


Unique traditional residences
In Pingyao Ancient City are many traditional residences and commercial courtyards, 3797 of which are protected and more than 400 of which are intact. Not only do the residences in Pingyao demonstrate Shanxi history and culture, but this large number is valuable for studying its history, folk customs, architecture, and art, as well as still serving as homes and shops of local people.

 



Remarks by famous people about Pingyao, authorized by the World Heritage Committee

 ingyao Ancient City is the finest under heaven.

Tanaka Dan (An expert of the International Historic Sites Council, Professor and Doctor of Kyoto University)


Rishengchang (Sunrise Prosperity) remittance business covered the whole country.

Tanaka Dan (An expert of the International Historic Sites Council, Professor and Doctor of Kyoto University)


the painted sculpture of Shuanglin Temple are a treasure of the world.
Tanaka Dan (An expert of the International Historic Sites Council, Professor and Doctor of Kyoto University)


A real, unique treasure.

Barkley Jones (an American scholar and UN Centre for Human Settlements expert)


Pingyao is like the Sun. pearl of ancient architecture.
Jay Moore (a UN Centre for Human Settlements expert)


 lotus appears above the water.

Karl Ash (a Canadian scholar and a UNESCO expert)


quite famous and precious historical heritage.


 

 
   
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