Pingyao Old Town

Pingyao Old Town

Scene Introduction

Pingyao Old TownThe Old Town of Pingyao is in Pingyao County, in the center of Shanxi Province,is the best-preserved historic town in the regions populated by the Han ethnic group. Remembering Pingyao's glorious past, the local people have protected and preserved the old town. On December 3, 1997, at the 21st session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, Pingyao was put on the World Heritage List.

Pingyao boasts plenty of cultural relics. Pingyao is known mainly for three historical treasures: the ancient large-brick city wall, the Zhenguo Temple, and the Shuanglin Temple. The Old Town of Pingyao was constructed according to the traditional planning and building style of the Han ethnic group and was laid out according to the functions of its different parts. Four large streets, eight smaller ones, and 72 lanes made a neat grid. Symmetrically arranged along an axis, the private houses were constructed either in the style of courtyard houses or in the style of manmade-cave houses, all with local features. Today, Pingyao still has 3,797 courtyard houses, 400 of them especially well preserved. In addition, richly decorated temples and shops are scattered all over the town. These old buildings bring back a scene of the flourishing town of Pingyao during the Ming and Qing periods.

Other treasures in Pingyao include the Hall of Great Achievements in the Temple of Confucius, reconstructed in 1163, and the Qingxu Temple, originally constructed in 657.Pingyao occupies an important place in the financial history of modern China.

"The Old Town of Pingyao is an outstanding example of the Han cities in the Ming and Qing dynasties, retaining all the features of these periods. Pingyao presents a picture of unusual cultural, social, economic, and religious development in Chinese history." (From a report of the World Heritage Commission of UNESCO)

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