Dachang ancient village
Rows after rows of traditional dwellings in the ancient village of Dachang village in North China's Shanxi province [Photo/yq.gov.cn]
Located in the depths of the Taihang Mountains, Dachang village is the oldest remaining village in Yuxian county, Yangquan city, in North China's Shanxi province -- with a history dating back to the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534).
There are three waterfalls at the entrance of Dachang village, whose name dachang means waterfalls in Chinese.
Built on the mountain, the ancient village has residences that combine the stylistic characteristics of dwellings in Huizhou, East China's Anhui province and the unique features of stilted buildings in South China.
All bungalows, cave dwellings, as well as the stilted buildings which have no foundations, are built in a succession of rows with clay and stone, with over 10 levels of houses running from the bottom to the top of the village.
All roads in the village are paved with slate or stone and houses are connected by winding alleys.
There are seven stone dragon statues with a history of nearly 1,000 years enshrined in the village. Of these, the largest is reputed to have a weight which changes according to the different times of the year.
Located in the depths of the Taihang Mountains, Dachang village is the oldest remaining village in Yuxian county. [Photo/yq.gov.cn]
Although the village is built on an area of the mountain where trees find it difficult to grow, there is a large locust tree more than 500 years old at its entrance.
As time goes by, the number of local ancient dwellings is decreasing and most villagers find their own way outside the distant mountains and move elsewhere for a better life. Only a dozen senior citizens have been left behind in the village.
Yuxian county has invested around 30 million yuan ($4.32 million) in planning the renovation of ancient residences, as well as environmental improvements and support infrastructure to protect the ancient village.