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Guides / Itineraries

Chengkan Village: where to see traditional buildings in Anhui

By Linting Hou

February 21

Reasonable layout, well-preserved ancient buildings and mild climate make Chengkan Village an attractive place for tourists, especially history enthusiasts.

Reasonable layout, well-preserved ancient buildings and mild climate make Chengkan Village an attractive place for tourists, especially history enthusiasts.

Located in Huangshan City, east China’s Anhui Province, Chengkan Village originated in the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280) boasting a history of more than 1,800 years. Chengkan Village is home to more than 500 famous ancient figures, including Luo Ruji, the high-ranking official of the Song imperial court and Luo Pin, a renowned painter in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912).

Chengkan Village [Image Credit: VCG]
The most outstanding characteristic of Chengkan Village is the layout. The whole village is arranged according to the theory of Bagua in The Classic of Changes, one of Chinese oldest books. The name of the village – Chengkan is also derived from the book. With Long Stream (龙溪) flowing through the village, ancients dug two ditches as a simple drainage system and built several bridges, some of which are still standing after 700 years.

Huanxiu Bridge built in Yuan Dynasty [Image Credit: VCG]
Divided by three streets and ninety-nine allies, the maze-like village is composed of various ancient buildings, including pavilions, ancestral temples, altars and residences. The residences there, characterized by white walls and gray tiles, are representative of Hui-style architecture.

Residences in Chengkan Village [Image Credit: VCG]
There are more than 100 buildings dating back to the Qing or Ming (1364-1683) Dynasties, among which the Changchun Altar and the Luo Dongshu Ancestral Temple are the most famous.

Changchun Altar, built in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) is a place where ancients made sacrifices to the gods of earth and grain. It coves an area of 1,100 square meters, and is the largest altar in ancient Huizhou District. Originally, it was Su Shi, the great poet and calligrapher of the Song Dynasty, who inscribed the name of the altar on the plaque and hung it above the gate. In 1998, the Altar was designated as a valuable cultural relic of the province.

Changchun Altar [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Wu Sunmin]
Located on the east part of the village, the Luo Dongshu Ancestral Temple covers 3,300 square meters, the largest of its kind. With a number of engravings and colored paintings on the beams and frames, this 400-year-old building is a gallery of ancient art. In 1996, the Luo Dongshu Ancestral Temple was designated as a valuable cultural relic on the national level.

Luo Dongshu Ancestral Temple [Image Credit: VCG]
Best time to visit: All year

Entry: 107 yuan/person

Transport: Take a train or airplane to Huanshan City, Anhui Province, and then take the direct bus from Huangshan Bus Station to Chengkan.

Opening hours: 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

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