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Ancient villages in Shanxi: Lanche village

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2015-07-30

In the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476BC), Confucius (551BC- 479 BC) was on the way to preach his teachings when the road was blocked by a child, who was playing to build a town with little stones. He refused to give way to Confucius, with a wise argument: the carriage could only detour its way, because a town will never give way to carriage. Confucius then withdrew, because the child was so clever, let alone the adults, and it was unnecessary to preach there.

Therefore, he turned back and recalled his followers. According to legend, this is where the village’s name—Lanche village— comes from. “Lan” means stopping, “che” means a carriage; the village is where Confucius’ carriage was stopped.

Locals believe the ruts left by Confucius and his followers are still there, and a Confucius Temple was erected in the village, where a tablet to mark his return ruts was set.

Sitting at the juncture of Shanxi and Henan province, Lanche village is located in the Jinmiaopu town in Shanxi’s Zezhou county, south of the T'ai-hang Mountains.

Simple and unadorned ancient dwellings are spread around alleys, without colored stones, bricks and walls. Some houses are just built on rocks and flagstones on the spot.

The hustle and bustle on the two-kilometer ancient post road belongs to the past. But some historical architecture remains, including relics, epigraphs and over 60 ancient stores. And all of these maintain their original patterns and feature.

In the ancient time, eleven emperors have visited the village, which also attracted many famous poets and scholars from the Western Han Dynasty (202BC-9AD) to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), including some of the most honored in China, such as Li Bai, Bai Juyi and Sima Guang, together with their meaningful works.

 

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