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China – Hongcun Village

Hongcun Village – Anhui Provine, China

Hongcun Village is located at the foot of the southwest side of Mt. Huangshan, only 11 kilometers away from Yixian town. It is a unique, buffalo-shaped ancient village, covering an area of about 30 hectares.

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In the Song dynasty, about 900 years ago, the villagers constructed an irrigation canal intervening every houses, so virtually every household in the village has easy access of the canal. The waterways of the village were supposed to be designed to provide source of washing water, even fire water in case of emergency. The construction was designed in similarity to a baffalo’s body structure: Nanhu Lake is shaped like the baffalo’s belly; the Moon Pond looks like it’s stomach; the channel its intestine. This vivid layout of buffalo is one outstanding feature of the village.

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All the buildings follow local architectural style, have exquisite carvings and are magnificent symbols of its time. They were built with fine craftsmanship that is regarded as the best in China. Among them, Chenzhi Hall is a big and gorgeous residential building, including two living rooms, one Buddhism prayer section, one amusement room , etc. It enjoys the name of “Residence Museum”.

The village has nice scenery – simple but elegant, a fine mixture of old houses, green hills and clear creeks. Hongcun Village has always enjoyed the name “a village in the Chinese painting”. The village now boasts 158 dwelling houses dating back to the Ming dynasty and Qing dynasty, about 300 or 400 years ago, nearly 140 houses are still in good shape.

Because of this extraordinary feature of the village, Hongcun Village was added to the list of the World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in late 2000. It is also the location for the famous prize film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”.