Hongcun and Xidi Village
Situated in Yixian County of Anhui Province, Hongcun and Xidi became hot tourist attractions for well preserved architecture of Ming and Qing Dynasty after the Oscar winner Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was filmed here.
Dating back to 900 years ago, the village was first built in South Song Dynasty, and became the home of Wang clan. The creative and intelligent ancestors of the villagers made an efficient water system imitating the digestion system of a buffalo in the village: water channels flow by the doors of every houses, leading to a semilunar pond, which can be regarded as the buffalo's stomach. The four bridges over the rivers and pond form the four feet of the cattle. Therefore, Hongcun is also nicknamed as Buffalo-like Village.
The woodcarvings on the crossbeams of fore halls, arches, brackets, floral doors and windows sashes were elaborately created with a great numbers of characters different from each other in complexions and spirits, which thoroughly embodied the superb work of Huizhou style since Song Dynasty. The Halls of Chengzhi, Jingxiu and Dongxian are very typical ones at village.
Similar to Hongcun, the 1000-year-old Xidi village still keeps the ancient architectures of what they used to be hundreds of years ago. This village is 700m long and 300 meter wide, home to Family Hu since North Song Dynasty. Legend tells that the ancestor of the village was the famous Emperor Tai Zong of Tang Dynasty. The son of last emperor in Tang Dynasty changed his family name and hid here in order to escape the killing of throne usurper.
Xidi still has more than 300 ancient residential houses by now, and among which, 124 residential houses are very well preserved. With its elegant layout, delicate structure, beautiful decoration and deep culture content, the ancient buildings of Xidi fully demonstrates its rarity in ancient Chinese architecture and is regarded as an example of Chinese ancient residential buildings. When you walk into any of these houses, you can find elegant courtyards and gardens, refined doorframes made of black marbles, stone carvings of flowers, birds and beasts, brick carvings of pavilions and human figures as well as woodcarvings, colorful paintings and frescoes.
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