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Overview of Huizhou Ancient City

Huizhou Ancient City, located in the center of Shexian County, holds Huizhou State office which has a history of a thousand years. It is referred as one of Four Best-preserved Ancient Cities, together with Lijiang Ancient City in Yunnan, Pingyao Ancient City in Shanxi and Langzhong Ancient City in Sichuan. Local people also call it the Exhibition of Huizhou Culture for it remains its intact charm.

In this charming town, the winding cobbled lanes will lead you to ancient residents’ dwellings and main buildings like theatrical stages, stone archways or teahouses. The imposing manner of these architectures which can date back to Ming and Qing Dynasties will give you a shot by its grandness, elegance and pristine beauty. What’s more, the white walls and black tiles with extremely exquisite carvings standing out in this town create an indescribable romantic charm.

Huizhou Culture

Huizhou is primitive name of Huangshan City which enjoys a long history and valuable culture. In spite of the vicissitudes of dynasties, Huizhou (or Huangshan City) remained in a stable and safe situation which offered a favorable condition to develop and form Huizhou culture. Huizhou people sored an achievement in different fields and created lots of genres which had great influence on the whole country. Main genres cover Xin An Rationalism, Xin An Style Painting, Xin An Seal Cutting, Xin An Wood Painting, Xin An Medical Science, Xi An Architectures and so on.

Xin An Rationalism is an important branch of Zhuxi's Philosophy, composed of rational learnings represented by Huizhou rationalists. It focuses on learning and high moral principles. Xin An Rationalism had been prosperous for over 600 years and played an important role in the evaluation of Huizhou clan community

Xin An Style Painting sprouted and formed in the early Ming Dynasty and then developed in the late Ming Dynasty and Early Qing Dynasty. It promoted that painting should be natural but not boastful and painters’ thought need to be attached to paintings. The modern painter Huang Binghong has developed and enriched Xin An Style Painting.

Huizhou Style Seal Cutting began at Ming Dynasty and the originator was Hezhen. It stressed on the skill of using brush and knife. The cutting was neat and vivid against the old vulgar and monstrous style. Because of the rise of Huizhou Style Seal Cutting, the status of seal cutting was conformed.

Hui Opera is a special kind of opera created by Huizhou artists after they absorbed the essence of Qin &Han Tune and Yiyang Tune. In the middle period of Qing Dynasty, Hui Opera was fashionable enough. In fact, Peking Opera is a combination of Hui Opera and Han Opera.

Top Attractions

Huizhou Ancient City, as the core of She County, is quite attracting with its landscape of high peaks and crystal water. There is a neat layout of residential dwellings which interweaved with the old foot bridges, long-standing towers, ancient streets, primitive dams and antique archways resemble a historical museum from which you are able to another world across time. There are top 6 attractions listed here.

Xuguo Stone Archway – East Triumphal Arch

Xuguo who was an official in Ming Dynasty made a great difference in the war against an insurgency in Yunnan, so he was praised to construct a memorial archway. As a result, Xuguo Stone Archway was done in 1584. It is China’s ONLY surviving four-sided decorative archway. Basing on eight columns with 12 lions in various postures leaning against, the planar shapes of Xuguo Stone Archway like a “口”. 8 doorways are standing toward eight different decorations. With a stable structure, majestic manner, and colorful decorative reliefs, Xuguo Stone Archway is the most outstanding symbol of Huihou stone archways and reveals the superb skill of archway-making in ancient time. In the whole archway, you can enjoy rich carvings incorporating dragons and beasts strutting on the top, phoenixes flying on the stone beams, and other mythical creatures lively interspersed on the surface.

Huizhou State Office – Landmark of Huizhou Ancient Town

Huizhou State Office, occupying an area of 9,800 square kilometers, is symbol of Huizhou Ancient City. As the administration of She County in Feudal China, it still keeps its origin layout. The complex is symmetrical along the central axis, following the typical architectural style of ancient state offices in old China. Five main buildings on the axis are Nanqiao Tower, Etiquette Door, Law Court, Second Court, and Magistrate Office. The distances between two different buildings are in fixed proportion, just like the layout of Forbidden City. Some professors tell that every state office is a contractible Forbidden City.

The three courtyards, two main roads, two towers and ancient city walls become the most featured, representative, and astonishing architecture groups, proving a platform for study research, culture communication, tourism and recreation.

Dounshan Street - First Street of Jiangnan

Getting its name from its special shape of the Big Dipper, Doushan Street was built in Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is more than 300 meters long, full of ancient dwelling houses, beautiful carvings, ancient well and various archways. The constructions in Doushan Street collect the main characteristics of ancient Huizhou style architectures, and the major representative buildings include four residents’ houses with a broad imposing manner, plain model and fine decoration. This street was a gregarious place for ancient Huizhou merchants. These merchants have gone but these precious lanes are left. Walking in this street, you will feel unexpectedly peaceful. Stopping at the end of the street, you may imagine the busy scenes in Doushan Street long long ago.

Yuliang Ancient Dam – Origin of Huizhou Commerce

Yuliang Ancient Dam, located in Yuliang Village of Huicheng Town acted as a key port of vital traffic lines in ancient times, is the oldest and largest ancient barrage in the upstream of Xin’an River and the only surviving stony rolling dam in China. Made of pure cobblestones, the 138-meter-long dam has 27-meter-wide bottle and 4-meter-wide top. For the delicate and scientific design, the whole dam is rather stable. One professor said that Yuliang Ancient Dam is comparable with Dujiangyan Irrigation System on design, construction and function. In ancient times, the merchants start from this wharf and turn to Huangzhou to do business. Standing in Yuliang Dam, you will feast your eyes on a grand view. The still river just like a mirror and fishes swimming in the water can be seen clearly. Ziyang Mountain is covered with luxury trees and Ziyang Bridge seems like the rainbow across the river.

Hui Garden – Showplace of Huizhou

With area of structures covering 180,000 square kilometers, Hui Garden is located in the center of Huizhou Ancient City. Here you can enjoy various buildings with typical Huizhou style, like Renhe Tower, Deyue Tower, Teahouse, Huifeng Stone Archway etc. and hundreds of commercial residential buildings with antique flavor. It has a collection of memorial arch, ancient dwelling houses and ancestral temple, which called “Three Wonders of Huizhou”. The white wall combined with black tiles enjoys delicate features and rich rhythm. The carvings are amazingly fine, which inherited the essence of primitive Huizhou style carving arts. Hui Garden melts the marrow of “the three carvings of Huizhou” containing woodcarvings, brick carvings and brick carving.

Tao Xingzhi Memorial Hall - Patriotism Education Base

Tao Xingzhi was a great educator born in She County. After He finished his study in USA, he came back to China and promoted that “life is education, society is school and teaching and learning can’t be separated from each other”. As Mukden Incident happened, he plunged himself into anti-Japanese war. Tao Xingzhi Memorial Hall was built in origin Congyi School, and underwent expansion in 1991 and 2003. The gate of Tao Xingzhi Memorial Hall towards south is made of gray bricks. Stepping in, you will find a marble sitting statue of Tao Xingzhi. Going up to the second floor, you can read enough introduction and literature about Tao Xingzhi in the Exhibition Hall.

>> 4 Days Huangshan Tour to Huizhou Culture Exploration

Huizhou Ancient City Xin An Style Painting of Huizhou
Huizhou Ancient City Huizhou Seal Cutting
Huizhou Ancient City  Huizhou Operal
Huizhou Ancient City Xuguo Archway
Huizhou Ancient City Huizhou State Office
Huizhou Ancient City Huizhou State Office
Huizhou Ancient City  Doushan Street
Huizhou Ancient City  Yuliang Ancient Dam
Huizhou Ancient City  The Gate of Hui Garden
Huizhou Ancient City  Interior of Hui Garden
Huizhou Ancient City  Statue of Tao Yingzhi

Location & Transportation

Huizhou Ancient City is located in the downtown area of She County in Huangshan City.

Independent Traveler

For the short distance, you can take a bus easily from Huangshan City to Huizhou Ancient City.

Travel with ChinaDiscovery

If you want to get rid of hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation, you can book a private tour package which covers sightseeing, dining and transfer from us. Our knowledgeable local tour guide and skilled driver will escort you to Huizhou Ancient City with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.

Huizhou Ancient City Huizhou Ancient City Location Map

Warm Tips

  • Best Seasons: All Seasons are available but spring and summer are the best. Spring is an amazing season which brings nature back to this ancient town. You can see the colorful scenery around Huizhou Ancient City, in vivid pink, green, blue, yellow, purple and all the combinations you will not dare to imagine. While in summer, Yuliang Dam reaches to its wet season. The thunder of water breaks the silence of Huizhou Ancient City and shows a bravura performance.
  • Must-try Food: There goes a prevailing saying that I no longer have a dream when I came to Huizhou. Why? That’s because Huizhou is so beautiful and dreamlike. Even the local dishes will give you a taste of culture. Huizhou Chafing Dish is on behalf of Huizhou dishes. A pot of boiling soup with chicken, duck and pork as well as tofu, radish and green vegetables is not only delicious but also healthy.

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