Zhangbi Ancient Fortress
The Zhangbi Ancient Fortress is a multi-functional, well-preserved ancient complex in central Shanxi province. [Photo/shanxi.gov.cn]
Zhangbi Ancient Fortress in the central area of North China's Shanxi province is a rare 1,600-year-old multi-functional and well-preserved ancient complex used for military defense, housing, production and religious activities.
The ancient fortress is deemed to be a miniature castle because it occupies an area of only 0.12 square kilometers. It was designed according to traditional Chinese astrology and the layout of the structures above the ground corresponds to the 28 constellations in the sky from Chinese mythology.
The fortress contains cultural relic sites from the Xia (c.21st century-16th century BC) and Shang (c.16th century-11th century BC) dynasties, tunnels from the Sui (581-618) and Tang (618-907) dynasties, tombs from the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234), opera stages from the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and dwellings from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.
Exquisite brickwork decorations eaves of Kong Wang Buddhist Temple in the fortress. [Photo/shanxi.gov.cn]
As a military fortress, Zhangbi Ancient Fortress is surrounded by gullies on three sides and a mountain on the fourth side. It features 10-meter walls and many interconnected deep underground tunnels, making it easy to defend but hard to attack.
There are over 20 existing ancient religious Buddhism and Taoism relics -- including the Kong Wang Buddhist Temple and the Zhenwu Temple -- distributed in the fortress.
Address: Zhangbi village in Longfeng town, Jiexiu county-level city, Shanxi province
Best visiting period: all year round
Opening hours: 8:00-17:00
Admission ticket price: 60 yuan ($9.18) per person