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Qing’an Guild Hall
2019-09-12 14:45 Text Size: A A A

 Qing’an Guild Hall, built during the reign of Daoguang (1850) of the Qing Dynasty, is located at the Muhang Road, on the east bank of Sanjiangkou (Three-river Junction). It was founded by shipping merchants and the construction began in 1850. It was meant to be a gathering place for shipping merchants, featuring an opera stage to honor Matsu, a goddess who allegedly protects fishermen and sailors. There is still the stone inscription tablet carved by Dong Pei (1828-1895), a famous scholar in the Qing Dynasty. Qing'an Guild Hall is a landmark of Ningbo, a port city in China, which has witnessed the flourishing overseas transportation and cultural exchange with foreign countries in both ancient and modern times, thus making itself important remains of Maritime Silk Road Culture. Meanwhile, as a large hall of shipping industry, it has also witnessed the development of shipping industry in Eastern Zhejiang Province. In 1853, Zhejiang Tribute Grain was shipped by sea while Qing’an Guild Hall (includingAnlanGuild Hall on its south) became the major management and service facility of Zhejiang Tribute Grain in the Qing Dynasty (1616-1912) and river-sea transportation for vertical trade, in which Nanbeiship business played a significant role. Therefore, Qing’an Guild Halls is the material proof of the unique river- sea transportation of The Grand Canal(Ningbo section) as well as the core heritage of its culture. In June, 2014, as one of the 27 cities related to the application of The Grand Canal for World Cultural Heritage, Ningbo was listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site while Qing’an Guild Hall, as a core constituent part of “two sections and one point” of The Grand Canal (Ningbo section), was honored as the first World Cultural Heritage site in Ningbo City.

With the traditional architectural ornaments of gold, wood, brick and stone carvings, the splendid and resplendent hall is deemed as a mini architectural museum. The extant part of the building includes the gate, main hall and rear court room, covering an area of 3,900 square meters.

The Qing’an Guild Hall represents the highest accomplishment of stone carving. The main building is more than ten meters high. On the two green-stone-carved columns in the outer room are two dragons spiraling up, with bare fangs and brandishing claws. Their opposite phoenix columns in the side room also have exquisite hollow carving. Besides, most of the surrounding walls are embedded with shallow reliefs of the “Ten Scenes of the West Lake” and other important historical materials of the carving arts of the Qing Dynasty, standing as a reminder of Ningbo’s port trade to the outside world.

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