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Ancient villages in Shanxi: Yanjing village

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2015-07-30

Yanjing village sits in the south of Wanrong county, North China’s Shanxi province. Alleys, houses and temples with a history of hundred years are scattered everywhere in the village, among which the Li Family Compound is recognized as one of the best examples of architectural culture and religious ethos in south Shanxi.

Ancient villages in Shanxi: Yanjing village
An overview of Li Family Compound in Yanjing village. [Photo/Xinhua]

Today, there are 11 well-designed courtyards in Li’s compound, built with masterful techniques. All kinds of exquisite carvings show the owners’ hopes and expectations.

The three most impressive structures in the compound are Li Daorong’s courtyard, a courtyard for home schooling and a private library building.

Ancient villages in Shanxi: Yanjing village
An alley in Li Family Compound in Yanjing village, Shanxi province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Li Daorong’s courtyard was built in 1935. The entrance was carved with family instructions on both sides, telling family members to appreciate everything they have, respect their ancestors sincerely and to read the Chinese classic.

The Li Family’s home school courtyard meets Li Daorong’s with a corridor. In its northern part are three cave-houses in a row where teaching took place. According to the family’s tradition, the Li’s children began studying there at six years old.

Ancient villages in Shanxi: Yanjing village
A garden in Li Family Compound, Shanxi's Yanjing village. [Photo/Xinhua]

The library courtyard was also the bedroom of Li Daoxing, who studied abroad in the UK and married a British wife. Western culture and western Gothic style were integrated into this courtyard, creating a unique style.

The Li Family in Yanjing village is renowned for their good deeds. They always help others in need and sponsor schools, as well as other efforts to improve local livelihood.

In addition to ancient structures, Yanjing village has a “laugh culture” exemplified by the broad-mindedness and humor of the local people. There are diversified facilities themed on “jokes” in the village, such as the square, teahouse, library and streets.

Tips:

Route:

It takes an hour to drive from downtown of Yuncheng city to the village.

Accommodation:

Tourists can stay in rural home inns close to the Li Family Compound and eat local specialties, like bean jelly and sweet melon.

Entertainment:

Tourists can visit Mount Gufeng, Xitan, hailed as the “Venice of China,” and Feiyun Tower.

 

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