Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui – Xidi and Hongcun

Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui – Xidi and Hongcun

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Geographic location:Mountain area south of the Yangtze River in Anhui Province, China


Famous scenery:Huizhou residential building

Climate type:Subtropical monsoon humid climate

The ancient village of Weinan is located in the east of Yixian County, Anhui Province, and is represented by Xidi Village and Hongcun. Xidi and Hongcun Ancient Dwelling Villages are located in Huangshan Scenic Area in the county of Anhui Province in eastern China. Xidi Village covers an area of nearly 13 hectares and has a history of more than 950 years. There are 3 ancestral halls, 1 archway building and 224 ancient dwelling houses in the 14th to 19th centuries. Xidi Village has preserved the typical style of ancient villages in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, and is known as the “living ancient residential museum”. Hongcun was built in 1131, and there are 137 buildings in Ming and Qing Dynasty. It is a typical representative of the late culture of Chinese feudal society – the carrier of Huizhou culture, which embodies the characteristics of the Huizhou folk house with exquisite craftsmanship.

In 2000, UNESCO listed Xidi Village and Hongcun, the ancient villages in southern Anhui, as the World Cultural Heritage List. In 2001, the ancient village of Weinan became one of the fifth batch of national key cultural relics protection units. In 2011, the ancient village of Weinan was rated as a national 5A tourist attraction.

Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui - Xidi and Hongcun

Development History

In 1986, Xidi Village, one of the main representatives of the ancient villages in southern Anhui, was designated as a key cultural relics protection unit in Anhui Province.
In 1998, the ancient village of Weinan was awarded the demonstration window of the provincial civilized scenic spot.
In 1999, Xidi Village was identified by the state as a World Cultural Heritage reporting unit, filed a declaration with UNESCO, and passed an expert assessment.
In 2000, the 24th World Heritage Committee meeting held in Cairns, Australia, decided to include the ancient villages of Xi’an and Hongcun in southern Anhui as the World Cultural Heritage List. This is the first time that a residential area has been included in the World Heritage List.
In 2001, the ancient buildings of ancient villages in southern Anhui were announced by the State Council of the People’s Republic of China as one of the fifth batch of national key cultural relics protection units.
On October 8, 2003, the ancient village of Weinan was approved as the first batch of Chinese historical and cultural villages.
In 2011, the ancient village of Weinan was rated as a national 5A tourist attraction.
In 2013, the ancient village of Weinan was listed as one of the national cultural relics maintenance protection model demonstration projects by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage.

Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui - Xidi and Hongcun

Geographical environment

Location horizon

The ancient villages of southern Anhui Province are located in the mountainous area south of the Yangtze River in Anhui Province, China.
Xidi Village is located in the center of Xidi Town in the southeast of Jixian County, Huangshan City. The geographical coordinates are 117°38′ east longitude, the north latitude 30°11′ village area is 12.96 hectares, the east-west length is 700 meters, and the north-south width is 300 meters.
Hongcun is located 11 kilometers northeast of the county seat of Jixian County in the southern part of Anhui Province. It is now the residence of Hongcun Town. The whole village sits north facing south, backed by the Leigang Mountain of the Huangshan Mountain, and the west is the Tunxi River and the Yangzhan River. The geographical coordinates are: 117°38′ east longitude, 30°11′ north latitude, and the whole village area is about 280,000. Square meters.

Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui - Xidi and Hongcun


It is a subtropical monsoon humid climate zone. It is characterized by four distinct seasons, short spring and autumn, long summer and winter, abundant heat, abundant rain, low sunshine hours and sunshine percentage, high cloud and humidity, and large summer and autumn drought. The annual average temperature is 15.5 – 16.4 ゚ C, and the precipitation is between 1395 and 1702 mm.

Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui - Xidi and Hongcun


The landing area of the ancient village of Weinan is located on the Huangshan Mountain Range and its north and south slopes. The peaks and valleys of the area are deep, and the mountains are high and deep, with obvious characteristics of the mountainous area of southern Anhui.
The developmental form of the appearance of the ancient village in southern Anhui is the result of the evolution of the crustal movement and external forces. About 850 million years ago, the Jinning movement made the former Sinian stratum fully wrinkled, which constituted the basic geomorphological outline of the Huangshan Mountains, and most of them were in the ascending period. Between about 350 million and 410 million years ago, the Caledonian period showed a large ascending movement. Around the time of 195 million to 280 million years ago, the Indo-Chinese movement formed a linear fold in the northeast direction, forming a mountain that extends in the northeast direction. From then on, the appearance of the ancient village in southern Anhui tends to Basic stereotypes.

Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui - Xidi and Hongcun

Ancient village features


Xidi is a village in the southeast of Xidi Town, Jixian County, southern Anhui Province. Xidi was founded in the 11th century in the Song Dynasty of Yuanyou (Song Zhezong). Because the river flows westward through this village, it was originally called “Xichuan.” Because there is a station in the west of the village, called the “shopping station”, it is named “Xi Di”, known as “the people in Taohuayuan”.

The first ancestor of Xidi was the son of Tang Zhaozong’s Li Wei. Due to the chaos, he escaped from the folk and changed to Hu. Xishou belonged to Hu’s village with blood relationship as the link. Hu family began to do business in 1465. They have succeeded in doing business, building large houses, building houses, repairing roads, paving roads, and bridging bridges. In the middle of the 17th century, the influence of some people in Hujiazhong from business to official positions led to the development of the village. From the 18th to the 19th century, the prosperity of Xidi reached its peak, when there were about 600 houses in the village.

A main road in Xidi Village runs through the east and west, and runs through a number of narrow lanes along with a street parallel to it on both sides, forming a village street that is mainly eastward and extends north and south. Most of the village streets are located along the stream. They are all paved with bluestone. There are small squares in front of public buildings such as Jing Ai Tang, Chau Mu Tang, Hu Wenguang’s thorny archway. The ancient dwellings preserved today retain the basic features and characteristics of the Ming and Qing dynasty dwelling villages, including 124 ancient dwellings and 3 well-preserved buildings in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Most of the dwellings are open to the public. open. The main buildings include the Qingshi archway built in the 6th year of Ming Wanli (1578), the doctor built in the 30th year of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty (1691), the garden garden representative Tao Liyuan, and the ancestral hall representative Jing Ai Tang.

The basic unit of its traditional ancient dwellings is generally three-open, inward-oriented square or rectangular. Its plane is square but not dull, compact and not conspicuous. The carefully combined spatial pattern is unified and flexible, and the plane layout is symmetrical. Hall, side rooms, stairs in front of or behind the hall or on the left and right sides, the entrance forms an inner patio for lighting and ventilation. On this basis, the building develops vertically and horizontally, and the combination is free, forming a residential house with two, three, and four types. The basic structure of the residential building is a herringbone slope with a beam or a bucket, and the outer wall enclosure is isolated by a gable. The bottom is made of the Qingxian stone of Jixian County, and the top is made of a stacked or convex shape. It is decorated with blue and white stone and geometric patterns. The gates are framed by Qingshi Qingshi, the upper part is inlaid with door covers, and many masonry carvings, with flowers, birds and insects or historical scenes as the title, each has its own meaning.

Most of the Xidi residential courtyards are placed in the vestibule, and some courtyards are placed on either side of the building or behind the house. The courtyard is flexible, compact and compact. Clever use of gardening techniques, in a limited space, clever and borrowing, full of poetry and painting in the garden scene. The residential courtyards are good at using the partitions, door openings, partitions, buildings, flowers and trees to divide and combine spaces, creating a transparent and sloppy, layered, ambiguous effect, to express multiple artistic conceptions, and to trigger people’s imagination and association. Get a lot of feelings and revelations.

Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui - Xidi and Hongcun


Hongcun is located at the foot of Huangshan Mountain in the southern part of Anhui Province, China. It is an ancient village with a large number of historical buildings in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The village has also built a perfect water system and a distinctive “bull” layout, which is a typical representative of Huizhou residential.

The village was founded in the third year of the Northern Song Dynasty (1113), originally known as Hongcun, and is the settlement of the Wang family. During the Yongle period of the Ming Dynasty, the Wang clan chief asked Feng Shui to determine the environment, re-arranged the building, and diverted water into the village. In the middle of the Qing Dynasty, the village once again carried out large-scale construction, and changed its name to “Hongcun” in order to avoid the “Hongli” of Emperor Qianlong. There are still a large number of ancient buildings in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, including one building in the Ming Dynasty, 102 buildings in the Qing Dynasty, and 34 buildings in the Republic of China. Most of them are well preserved and are typical representatives of Huizhou residential houses.

A major feature of Hongcun is that it has a complete water supply system. The villagers introduced the river water in the village to the village, and drilled a water meter nearly 1 meter wide. The nine bends and ten bends provided daily water for each household, and also played a role in regulating the temperature and beautifying the environment. Shuizhen forms a half-moon shaped lunar marsh in the middle of the village, and forms a bow-shaped south lake in the south, which constitutes the unique style of Hongcun.

Another major feature of the village is its flat-bottomed “cow”-shaped layout. The Leigang Mountain is the head of the cattle, the two old trees at the entrance of the village are the horns, the moon marsh is the cow heart, the south lake is the beef belly, the water palace is the cow intestine, the residential building is the cow body, and the four ancient bridges are the cattle feet. It is so vivid that it is called “the mountain is the corner of the bullhead tree, and the bridge is the body of the four-hoof house.”

The buildings in Hongcun are mainly residential and private gardens, as well as public facilities such as academies and ancestral halls. The buildings are relatively complete. All kinds of buildings pay attention to carvings, wood carvings, brick carvings and stone carvings are exquisite and exquisite, and have a high artistic value. The streets and alleys of the village are mostly built in the water, and the houses are also surrounded by the layout of the moon. Most of the houses are second-in-one courtyards. Some people have also introduced Zhenshui into their homes to form water yards and opened up fish ponds. The more typical buildings include Nanhu Academy, Lexuetang, Chengzhitang, Deyitang, Songhetang and Biyuan.

Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui - Xidi and Hongcun

Cultural value

The World Cultural Heritage Committee commented that the two traditional ancient villages of Xidi and Hongcun still largely retain the faces of the villages that have disappeared or changed in the last century. The style of the street, the ancient buildings and decorations, and the well-established houses of the water supply system are very unique cultural relics.

Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui - Xidi and Hongcun

Historical Value

The mountainous area of southern Anhui has a long history and profound cultural heritage. It preserves a large number of traditional buildings and villages with similar shapes and distinctive features. The ancient villages in southern Anhui not only combined with the topography, landforms and landscapes, but also the support of the strong economic strength of Huizhou merchants in the Ming and Qing Dynasties to the hometown. The cultural education is increasingly prosperous. After returning to the countryside, the concept of elegance, literary, high and detachment is conceived. And the construction of residential buildings makes the cultural environment of the ancient villages richer and the village landscape more prominent.

The biggest difference between the ancient villages in southern Anhui and other villages is that the construction and development of ancient villages in southern Anhui have largely deviated from their dependence on agriculture. The consciousness, lifestyle and taste of the residents of the ancient villages have greatly surpassed the peasants’ ideology and the general civic class, but they have retained and pursued the literati and bureaucratic stratum, so they have a strong cultural atmosphere. On the basis of the basic formula, the ancient villages in southern Anhui Province use different decorative techniques, build small courtyards, dig pools, install leaky windows, set up bonsai, carved beams, create a graceful living environment, and reflect the local residents. High cultural quality and artistic accomplishment. The site selection and construction of the ancient villages in southern Anhui Province follows the Zhouyi Fengshui theory with a history of more than 2,000 years. It emphasizes the ideal realm of harmony between man and nature and full respect for the natural environment. It pays attention to the dual needs of material and spiritual, has a scientific basis and is very high. Aesthetic concept.

Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui - Xidi and Hongcun

Building value

The cattle-shaped villages and artificial water systems planned and built by Guhong Village are architectural wonders: the green hills of Leigang are the heads of cattle, the towering ancient trees are the horns, and the folk houses that are scattered from the east to the west are like pets. The spring is referred to as the “bovine intestine”. After passing through the village, it is called the “cow stomach”. After filtering into the village, it is called the “lake”. People also set up four bridges on the rivers around the village as cow legs. This kind of village water system design not only solves the fire water for the villagers, but also regulates the temperature, which provides convenience for the residents to produce and use water. It creates a kind of “the road is not protected, the river is far away, and there is a clear spring in front of the house.” Good environment. There are more than 140 ancient houses in the Ming and Qing Dynasties that are well preserved in the village. They are simple and elegant, and interesting.

Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui - Xidi and Hongcun

Cultural relic protection

Since 2004, the Ganxian County Government has allocated 700,000 yuan of special funds for termite control every year, and adopted the international new IPM bait system to carry out biological control on the wooden structures in the temples and ancient dwellings, effectively solving the pests of termites and other pests. To ensure the safety of ancient buildings.

In 2013, the overall protection of the two ancient villages in Huangtian Village and Chengkan Village in southern Anhui Province has been listed as one of the national cultural relics maintenance protection model demonstration projects by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, aiming to pass the key maintenance and ancient villages of the ancient villages. Protection, establish a set of scientific and rigorous maintenance standards for ancient dwellings, and explore the protection and utilization model of ancient houses in ancient villages. The project includes three ancient villages, Huangtian and Chengkan, and Qingxi Ling, Yixian County, Hebei Province. The construction contents of the pilot project of the overall protection and maintenance demonstration of Huangtian and Chengkangu villages mainly include: repair and maintenance of ancient residential houses, construction of ancient residential fire, technical defense, lightning protection facilities, environmental renovation of ancient villages and restoration of historical features.

In 2014, the overall protection project of Huangtian Ancient Village was steadily advanced. The maintenance plan for the seven cultural relics sites in the first phase was approved and started. The maintenance plan for the second phase of 12 cultural relics sites has also been approved. The entire project will last for 4 years.

Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui - Xidi and Hongcun

Travel Information

Traffic routes

Take the train to Huangshan Railway Station, take a taxi to the new bus station after exiting the train station, and then take the tourist bus shuttle from Tunxi to Hongcun. Tour route: Moon Marsh Winds → Jingxiu Hall → Chengzhi Hall → Deyi Hall → Shurentang → Taoyuanju → Red and White Ancient Trees → Nanhu Academy → Nanhu


The more common snacks are Hongcun Royal Cake, Laba Tofu and Melaleuca. The most famous in Huizhou cuisine is the stinky mandarin fish and the tofu.


There are more inns in Hongcun than in Xidi. It is recommended not to live in a special hotel. It is quite good to find a family to live.

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