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Pingyao Ancient City

Pingyao Ancient CityPingyao Ancient City is located in central Shanxi province, China. It lies about 715 km from Beijing and 80 km from the provincial capital, Taiyuan. During the Qing Dynasty, Pingyao was a financial center of China. The city was built 2,000 years ago. In the Spring and Autumn Period, Pingyao belonged to the kingdom of Jin. It was part of the kingdom of Zhao in the Warring States Period. In the Qin dynasty, it was known as Pingtao. During the Han dynasty, it was known as Zhongdu county. Pingyao has well-preservered ancient city walls,residents,government offices, and stores of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1369) dynasties. Therefore, the Chinese government designated Pingyao as one of the Chinese Historic and Cultural Cities. It became a World Heritage Site in 1997, included also the outlying Zhenguo Temple and Shuanglin Temple.

Pingyao Ancient CityPingyao still retains its city layout from the Ming and Qing dynasties, conforming to a typical bagua pattern. More than 300 sites in or near the city have ancient ruins. Preserved Ming- and Qing-style residences number close to 4,000. The streets and storefronts still largely retain their historical appearance.

City walls
Pingyao Ancient CityThe city walls of Pingyao were constructed in the 3rd year of the Hongwu Emperor (1370). The walls have six barbican gates. The north and south sides have one gate each. The east and west sides have two gates each. This pattern is similar to that of a turtle (the head, tail, and four legs), earning Pingyao the moniker "Turtle City." The walls measure about 12 meters high, with a perimeter of 6,000 meters. A 4-meter wide, 4-meter deep moat can be found just outside the walls. Aside from the four structured towers at the four corners, there are also 72 watchtowers and more than 3,000 battlements. In 2004, part of the southern walls collapsed but were reconstructed. However, the rest of the city walls are still largely intact and are considered among the best-preserved ancient city walls on this scale. This makes the city walls the centerpiece of the Heritage Site.

Famous Tourist Attractions in Pingyao and Its Vicinities (within 20km)

Wang Family's Compound
Qiao Family's Compound
Zishou Temple
The Ancient City Wall
Rishengchang Exchange Shop
Ming and Qing Street
Shuanglin Temple

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