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Ancient City of Pingyao

Ancient City of Pingyao

The Ancient City of Pingyao is widely renowned as one of the well-preserved ancient cities in China, located in the middle of Shanxi Province. Since its first construction in the West Zhou Dynasty (827 BC- 728 BC), it holds a history of over 2700 years. And in 1997 it was successfully enlisted in UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.

The entire construction of Ancient City of Pingyao keeps all the features of Chinese Han nationality during Ming and Qing Dynasties, offering a complete picture of the cultural, social, economic and religious development at that time. The Ancient City Wall, one of the “Three Treasures” of Pingyao with a circumference of 6,163 meters, distinctively divides the city into two worlds. Inside the walls, all the buildings are kept in the style of Ming and Qing Dynasties with interweaved streets in good order, residences (traditional quadrangle style) in bilateral symmetry and shops scattered everywhere. At its very center there stands a three-storey wooden-structured building, which is known as the “Gold Well Building”. Inversely, the outside world is a completely modern one with clusters of tall buildings.

In addition to its antiquity, the Ancient City of Pingyao is also famous as a commercial town in the northern China and birthplace of Shanxi Merchants. Here you can even visit the first bank in China, Rishengchang Draft Bank which is known as “Museum of China’s Bank Draft. The big stone setting in the middle of the courtyard is a kind of currency in China called Yuanbao, a symbol of wealth.

Strolling down this city, you will both enjoy the ancient and modern features of Pingyao. And you’d better not miss the Pingyao International Photography Festival (PIP), which will show you a comprehensive view of this ancient city with various photos.