Chengkan Village

Updated:Dec 08,2016 08:23 AM www.chinatourguide.com

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Chengkan Village is renowned for its well-preserved and amazingly designed residential architecture of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.). The village is located about 40km away from Mt. Huangshan and about half an hour drive from Tunxi.

It is a wonder among the ancient villages in China for its elaborate layout. The whole village is arranged according to the theory of "the Eight Diagrams" in the I Ching (also Yi Jing in Chinese), or Classic of Changes, one of the oldest of the Chinese classic texts.

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When stepping into the village, you are as if stepping into a maze: three main streets and ninety-nine lanes criss-crossing the village with hills and rivers surrounding it. Of course it's not the Labyrinth of Minos in Greek Mythology, but in Chengkan, an exploration of the intricacy of lanes as well as the primitive life of the locals is surely worthwhile. The special layout of the residences together with the mother river of the village, Longxi River, are believed to bring liveliness and fortune to the whole village and the welfare will be passed down from generation to generation.

Chengkan Village has a long history, and surprisingly, it has still kept the layout of the original village built about 1800 years ago. This ancient village integrated the featured Hui-style houses (white wall and black tiles), green hills and clear streams to make a peaceful dwelling for more than 700 households.

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The Village is also perfect representative of Anhui architectures. The ancient architectures contain elegant pavilions, houses, bridges, wells, ancestral temples, etc. Moreover, there are exquisite stone carvings, brick carvings, and wood carvings on each house.

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The ancestral temple of the village is noted for its architecture. The Baolun Hall in ancestral temple is an outstanding example of the refined beauty of Chengkan's architecture. It is very fascinating to see the elaborate engravings of flowers and geometric pattern on the bluestone parapets and creative colored paintings on the beams, lintels and doorframe. The colors remain bright and fresh although throughout ages. A pair of wooden staircases ascends to the second floor on which through the finely engraved windows, visitors can have a good view of the Mt. Huangshan.