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Home >> China Attractions >> Pingyao Attractions >> Pingyao Ancient City

Pingyao Ancient City

On December 3, 1997, the UNESCO added another jewel into the crown of China's amazing historical relics. When it formally admitted the ancient city of Pingyao to the "List of World Heritage", this Pingyao Ancient City sanctifying this walled city for future generations to visit and marvel at its unique features.

Pingyao has a history dating back over 2,700 years. Although the actual city compound stretched through the Ming and Qing dynasties and is more than 600 years old, in its present state, over a thousand ancient cities like Pingyao have been recorded in China's history, but Pingyao stqands out as the best preserved of all the alled city in China. And now faces a bright future as one of China's "must-see" attractions for tourists form all over the world.

The city layout and planning in ancient China has been done according to strict class standards and rules during the Ming Dynasty. Pingyao's City Wall remains in excellent condition and typify the perfectly symmetrical architecture of county level towns. The city plan is square and walls is 6.613 kilometers in length with a height of 10 meters.

The well-preserved "Ri Sheng Chang" remittance bank formed the embryonic base for organizing China's early finance system and the earliest forms of paper cheques circulated within the compound were a forerunner for the same system in use all over the world today. Indeed this system later replaced the obsolete toolshaped umbersome coin and could be ransferred and cashed all over China.

Within the walls is a design of housing and administration buildings typical of the style used in Pingyao Ancient City construction and in accordance with Chinese Han people's traditional design ideology and architectural style. These reflect the style of northern Chinese desigh for city wall and buildings during the period from the 14th to the 18th centuries (the Ming and Qing dynasties). The internal streets are fronted by rows of shops between the housing allotments and formed a staging place for the further development of social customs and costumes which fortunately are still used on occasions today.

Some of the courtyards and temples in the city bear testimony to the strict guidelines in which government and religion formed a harmonious balance.

Of course the very nature of Pingyao City with its aesthetically pleasing walls was for defense and protection from marauding bandits and enemies who may have broken through the defensive ramparts of the Great Wall. There is a specially designed catchment yard where, if by chance the enemy broken through the only wooden gate of the city wall would meet with nasty ending as they would be pelted with spears, arrows and large rocks. Thus the city was virtually impregnable, and stands as the finest example of this part of Chinese history in the entire country.

Pingyao Attractions
Zhenguo Temple Wang Family's Compound Temple of the City God
Shuanglin Temple Rishengchang Exchange Shop Qiao's Compound
Pingyao Ancient City City Wall of Pingyao
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