Pingyao Ancient City in China

Saturday, 27 November 2021 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  3 minutes

Rih Sheng Chang Bank © Peellden/cc-by-3.0

Rih Sheng Chang Bank © Peellden/cc-by-3.0

Pingyao, officially Pingyao Ancient City, is a settlement in central Shanxi, China, famed for its importance in Chinese economic history and for its well-preserved Ming and Qing urban planning and architecture. Administratively, it comprises the town of Gutao in Pingyao County in Jinzhong Prefecture. It has a population of about 50,000.

The town is first recorded circa 800 BC and has been the seat of local government since at least the Qin. By the 16th century, it was a regional financial hub; some consider it to have been the financial centre of the Qing Empire in the late 19th century. It is a AAAAA-rated tourist attraction, and the settlement and the outlying Zhenguo Temple and Shuanglin Temple became a World Heritage Site in 1997.

Pingyao Ancient City © Benzh Bell tower © Peellden/cc-by-3.0 City walls © Peellden/cc-by-3.0 Hall of Great Acomplishement in the Confucious Temple © Gisling/cc-by-3.0 Rih Sheng Chang Bank © Peellden/cc-by-3.0 Roof architecture © IceUnshattered/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Hall of Great Acomplishement in the Confucious Temple © Gisling/cc-by-3.0
There was already a settlement in place at Pingyao by the reign of the Xuan King (r. c. 827 – c. 782 BC), when the Zhou raised earthen ramparts around the site. In the Spring and Autumn period, the county belonged to the kingdom of Jin. It was part of the kingdom of Zhao in the Warring States period. Under the Qin, it was known as Pingtao. During the Han Dynasty, it was known as the seat of Zhongdu County.

Pingyao served as the financial center of the region from the 16th century and of the entire Qing Empire during the late 19th century. During those times, there were more than 20 financial institutions within the city, comprising more than half of the total in the whole country. Rishengchang was the first and largest, controlling almost half of China’s silver trade under the late Qing before going bankrupt in 1914 in the aftermath of the Xinhai Revolution.

Organized restorations have been undertaken periodically since the 15th century, the most recent phase beginning in 1979. In 1986, China designated Pingyao as one of the Chinese Historical and Cultural Cities. In 2004, part of the southern walls collapsed; they have since been reconstructed. In 2015, Pingyao ancient city became a national 5A-class tourist attraction.

Read more on TheChinaGuide.com – Pingyao Travel Guide, TheChinaGuide.com – Pingyao Ancient City, Wikivoyage Pingyao and Wikipedia Pingyao (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Johns Hopkins University & Medicine - Coronavirus Resource Center - Global Passport Power Rank - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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