Ancient Town of Qianyang Boasts Profound History, Rich Cultures

Editor :Yang Peng
Source :Women of China
Antique museum Chufeng Hall [Women of China/Zhang Ping]

 

Qianyang is an ancient town with over 2,000 years of history. The town was built along the Yuan River in the south of Huaihua City, central China's Hunan Province. In contrast to many abandoned ancient cities, Qianyang has always been bustling with life. The town with its numerous cultural heritages and historical sites is listed as a National AAAA Rated Scenic Spot.

 

A picture of Furong Pavilion [Women of China/Zhang Ping]

 

Ancient cities in China are often filled with tourists nowadays thanks to modern communications and social media. Unlike those noisy and crowded ancient towns, though, Qianyang still retains its tranquility and serenity.

One of its main features is that it has preserved the ancient buildings of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) and the Republic of China era (1912-1949). Those authentic ancient structures have not been reconstructed or renovated like those in other ancient towns. Some 90 percent of residents have lived there for several generations.

 

An old and tranquil street [Women of China/Zhang Ping]

 

Wang Changling, the famous poet from Tang Dynasty (618–907), wrote the classic verse, "In Luoyang should my folks and friends ask after me, tell them a heart's in a jade pot, pure as it can be," on Furong Pavilion, a famous historical site of south China.

The town of Qianyang was founded about 2,200 years ago. Most remaining ancient buildings there were built in Ming (1368–1644) and Qing dynasties. Besides Furong Pavilion, there are many other historical sites including Nanzheng Street, Bell Drum Tower, Zhongzheng Gate and Scarlet Pagoda. Furthermore, almost all families there have a profound history, and relics of ancient times can be found in every household.

 

Stretches of ancient streets [Women of China/Zhang Ping]

 

Qianyang is located at the juncture of Hunan, Hubeiand Miao regions and the town is surrounded by water from three sides. Due to its special location, Qianyang has always been an important town throughout history.

The town has two major streets along which many alleys sprawl like the shape of a fish bone. There are no cross-streets in the town, and there are only T-shaped road junctions. This is another unique feature of the town.

 

A memorial archway [Women of China/Zhang Ping]

 

For thousands of years, various ethnic groups living here have jointly created distinctive folk cultures. Examples include unique folk opera styles such as Mulian Drama, folk dances such as the Yuan River Work Songs, folk handicrafts such as stone and wood carving, and local snacks such as spring rolls.

UNESCO has called the Qiancheng Mulian Drama, which combines art, folk custom and religion, a "living fossil" of Chinese theater.

 

An old mansion [Women of China/Zhang Ping]

 

The beautiful scenery and rich cultures of the town have attracted tens of thousands of tourists each year. The town has also been the shooting location for many films and TV dramas.

 

Bell Drum Tower [Women of China/Zhang Ping]

 

However, its increasing fame and popularity has not disturbed its serenity, and the tranquil and genuine state of the town remains untainted. Visitors who step into the town will feel as if they have stepped through a time tunnel.

(Women of China)

February 5, 2018
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