County Government office (Yamen)
County Government office, also named Yamen in Chinese, is an ideal place for a culture discovery to check out what an ancient Chinese local government looks like. Located in the center of Pingyao, the Ancient Government Office was built firstly in North Wei Dynasty, and formed into scale during Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. Now, the ancient building here is the one which built in 1346, with a history of more than 660 years.
Based on the same function of judgment, the Ancient Government Office is a little similar to today’s court. The complex of administrative offices contains an executive office, a tax office, a trial hall, and even a prison, open courtyards and prison is large enough to handle the many tours that work their way through the rooms. County government office is a grass-roots unit of administration in Feudal China, and the head of it is considered as local magistrate, literally means father and mother officials to the local people.
There are some performances played by some professional actors within the Ancient Government Office, which allow you pass the time tunnel and be a witness for a court trail. And the interesting thing is, there is also a hall for people to worship local gods or Buddha. All the related things were dealt with within the building. The entire office is north-south, axial symmetry, occupying more than 26,000 square meters. According to the feudal social institutions, the left part is for preparing official documents and letters while the right part is for practicing Wushu. The front hall is a court and the back hall is a bedroom.
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