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Qiantong Ancient Town
2016-09-07 17:30 Text Size: A A A

Established in 1233 and located in the southwest of Ninghai County, Zhejiang Province, with an area of 68 square kilometers and a population of 26,000 people, Qiantong Town is a typical south China town with a long history, rich culture and unique geographical conditions. It has been successively entitled Famous Historic and Cultural Town of Zhejiang Province and Tourism Town of Zhejiang Province.

Qiantong Town is on the southwest of Ninghai, Zhejiang. The Streets of the town as well as base of the houses are all paved with cobblestones. The streets and alleys are narrow, buildings are quite dense, and the villages are laid out in 8 tri-grams and 9 halls diagram (Jiugong Bagua) patterns like a Chinese character “Hui”. The ancestors of the Tongs learned from Bagua principles to draw water of Baixi Creek into the villages, so the clear creek water circulates around the households so that people can wash vegetables and clothes in the water. Every household is connected by waterways, small bridges and cobblestone lanes. The green vines creeping on white walls, black tiles and the windows decorated with stone engraved designs, and carved beams, painted pillars and arched gateways, all reveal the prosperity of this place in the past.

Qiantong has rich tourist resources: complete ancient building complexes, splendid cultural landscapes and beautiful scenery. Conservation districts of historic sites and cultural heritage featuring ancient architecture and life style are established. Four main tourist spots, traditional residence district, Lianghuangshan scenic area, Shixie Longyin scenic area and Fuquanshan scenic area have been established, attracting flocks of tourists from home and abroad.

Qiantong is famous for its peculiar layout, well-kept building groups of the Ming and Qing Dynasties and numerous talented people in different historical periods. It was first built in the last years of the Song Dynasty and became prosperous in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Till 2005, there are still more than 1,300 houses of different kinds well preserved. In Qiantong, “every household has carved beams and fresh water”, the clear water of Baixi Creek flows into the villages through ditches and circulates around every household, forming a special view, typical of regions south of the Yangtze River. The Bagua-shaped waterways circulate through every household and the cool water flows humming and steadily, making Qiantong more like a riverside town than the real ones. The northwest and southeast sides of Qiantong are surrounded by mountains. The height of the highest peak in northwest Lianghuangshan Mountain is 768.2 meters. The central part of the town is plain with rivers. The main streams are Baixi Creek and Lianghuangxi Creek. Baixi Creek enters into the territory of Qiantong through Chalu Town on the west, then flows across the front of Qiantong Village and runs through Zhulin Village. Lianghuangxi Creek origins from the southeast foot of Lianghuang Mountain, then flows across the back of Qiantong Village and detours into the back of Zhulin Village where it converges into Baixi Creek. There is a Lianghuang Temple (Chongfu Temple) built during Wude Period of the Tang Dynasty (618-626) on the south foot of Lianghuangshan Mountain. The famous geographer and traveler of Ming Dynasty Xu Xiake once climbed the mountain. On the foot of Nanqiaoshan Mountain in Qiantong is a Shijing Lecture House built by Tong Boli, a Confucian scholar of early Ming Dynasty, where Fang Xiaoru once gave lectures. The beautiful Tashan Mountain and Lushan Mountain stand on the west and east side of Qiantong. Historic sites like Xiaonyu Lake, Miaohu Lake, Zhisi Hall, Xueshi Bridge and Nangong Temple still exist. The ancestral hall of the Tong’s family designed by Fang Xiaoru is well preserved. The ancestral halls built in Hongwu Period of the Ming Dynasty have caught special attention of experts. There are also graves and tablet pavilions for the revolutionary martyrs in the Lushan Mountain.

In the history of Qiantong, talented people came out in succession. In the age of Imperial Examination, more than 200 Qiantong people passed the exam and won scholar and official ranks. There were also great many talents in modern times, like Tong Baoxuan who became governor of Zhejiang at 25. The main features of the whole Qiantong Town are ancient villages, honest folks, marvelous springs and beautiful mountains. Ancient and rare trees like the King of Camphor Tree in Zhejiang in Zhulin Village and the cypress planted by Fang Xiaoru are all taken as treasures; the fantastic medicinal springs in Liantou have marvel curative effects; the exquisite handcrafts have been selected into the Forbidden City and the Great Hall of the People; Lianghuangshan Mountain is the first stop where the master travelogue writer Xu Xiake (1587-1641) wrote his travelogue; and the beautiful Lushan Mountain, Tashan Mountain and Shijingshan Mountain are attracting tourists from all around. On the top of the Fuchuanshan Mountain in the northeast of Qiantong there is a Fuquan Temple, where there is a “Tie Liu” Memorial Hall in remembrance of the East-Zhejiang guerrilla troops led by a communist leader Wang Huaiqiu. The Fuquan Temple and the nearby Liantoushan Mountain are famous tourist attractions of the Ninghai County. In June 2007, Qiantong Town was granted the title National Renowned Historic and Cultural Town.

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