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Located in the south of Hubei, known as "the South Gate of Hubei", Xianning has great renown for “Chibi old haunt of the Three Kingdoms, inland nuclear power city”, which has great advantages of its "mountain", "water" "geography","location","culture","scenery","energy"and the trend of development. Xianning is a suitable place to do ...[more]
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Xianning City, attached to Hubei Province, known as “the southern gateway to Hubei”, is famous for sweet-scented os... [more]
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Lying in the southeast of Hubei Province, along the south bank of the Yangtze River, and at the junction of Hunan, Hu... [more]
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 Despite the late administrative construction of Xianning (prefecture-level city), the counties and urban districts under its administration all have a long history. The territory of today’s Xianning belonged to Jing Chu in the Xia and Shang Dynasties ( about 2200-1100 BC), Nan County in the Qin Dynasty(221-206 BC ), [more]
A Selection of Photos: Impressions on Changxiafan in Shimen Village, Tongshan County
http://English.xianning.gov.cn 09-06-11
 

  

  

  Reported by Rao Min and Du Peiqing (http://www.xnnews.com.cn)

  The owner of Changxiafan used to have countless of farmland. This horse buckle recorded the starting and ending position of the farm which was far in Echeng and Daye. (Photo/Yuan Lin)

  

  

  Shimen Spring has black mud as the water bed and the water tastes sweet. The water not only has great detergency ability but also has the feature of warm in winter and cool in summer. In the cold winter, people constantly come here to do their washing. (Photo/Yuan Lin)

  

  

  Changxiafan has a flagstone street of more than six hundred meters and a total construction area of more than thirty thousand square meters. The overall layout of the street still exists and the architectural forms includes “store in the front and dwelling behind form” and “store in the front workshop behind and dwelling at the second floor form”. (Photographed by Yuan Lin)

  

  

  Old house has the legends of both new and old. (Photographed by Yuan Lin)

  

  

  The old street with a desolate figure

  

  

  The whole-pieced stone column in the old house as high as five meters (Photographed by Yuan Lin)  

    

    The river is like a blue silk ribbon and the hills are like the green jade hairpins. The Shimen Village of Tongshan County is unsophisticated and beautiful just like those women who have finished their laundry and come back from the stream. With white walls and black tiles, cornices and upturned corners, the ancient dwellings of Changxiafan are like pretty girls of humble birth, pure, fresh and beautiful. Not becoming old with the passing of time and not feeling lonely with the diverting of commerce, Changxiafan of Shimen Village is always keeping contented and happy.    It has the life style of Tao Yuanming who “picking the chrysanthemums beneath the eastern fence, then eyes fall leisurely on the southern mountain in the distance” (Tao Yuanming is a famous ancient poet of China who enjoys the simple and leisure life of the small village with beautiful nature scenery) Changxiafan faces west and is backed by the steep and thick Houbei Mountain. Three hills can be seen when the door is open, so it has the good reputation of “the ancient building pier where there stars facing the moon”. And because it is surrounded by water on three sides, so it is also called “a bow surrounds the moon”. To mention it, there is a story. In the past, the stream which flows around the village today was flowing through the commercial street. Later one of the big farmland lords who owned vast and expansive areas of fertile fields outside the village wanted to build a horse road because it was inconvenient for the carriage to pass through the narrow road but his proposal was thwarted by the people of the village. An idea came to his mind, he cooked the rapeseed and grinded it into powder, then put it into two deep cloth bags with two holes drilled at the bottom of each. He put the bags on the back of a horse and let it run. The rapeseed powder leaked out and formed two lines on the field. Countless ants were attracted to crawl on the powder. The farmland lord said,“We will build this road with the help of the god.” All the people of the village buried the hatchet. The water channel was changed and a flagstone street of six hundred meters was built.

    Changxiafan guards the traffic fortress of Hunan, Hubei and Jiangxi Provinces. It is the business channel from Shimen to Xianning, Fuchikou and Yueyang of Hunan, and it is also the land multiple track of Anhua, Hunan to the ancient tea horse road of Hankou. Merchants’ going north and south has boosted the commercial development of Changxiafan. Inns,pastry shops, bean curd workshops, official salt groceries, herbal medicine shops, pawnshops, teahouses and so many other shops stood one next to another. Enormous business opportunities made Xia Zhiwu, the chief leader of the clan changed the traditional concepts of emphasizing agriculture and restraining commerce.

    He made vigorous efforts to conduct good governance and gathered the strength of all the people in the clan to start architectural work on a large scale, change the channel of the river, construct village and promote and service the commerce. Meanwhile, he encouraged the clansmen to practice Kungfu and learn scriptures. He hoped them to gain scholarly honor or official rank by ways of studying scriptures; practicingKungfu and making commercial donation so as to better service the commerce of the Xia’s clan. According to the records of the Xia’s genealogy, the number of people who obtained scholarly honor, official rank or nobility title in the Ming and Qing Dynasties could add up to 103, and many people among them had official titles but were actually doing business at that time.

    Changxiafan in Shimen Village was built in the years of Emperor Hongxi’s reign (about 1420A.D.) and it started to experience a large-sale construction in Emperor Yongzheng’s ruling years (1722-1735), Qing Dynasty. It reached its top flourish in Emperor Daoguang’s reign (1821-1850) and declined in the late Qing Dynasty. Today, the flagstone street of more than six hundred meters is still smooth, clean and flat. Walking on it, your shoes won’t be covered with clay on a sunny day and won’t get wet on a raining day of summer. The ancient architectures on the two sides of the street are magnificent and imposing, and subtlety and smartness can be easily felt in the grand designs.

    Wall embedded horse buckles with various kinds of designs integrated with green moss-covered ancient brick wall looks like the pear flower petal painted by brink ink in traditional Chinese painting. A stone counter stands in the ruins as if telling the prosperous, rich and populous of those days. The story of the Russians running tea house in the old street is still spreading, and the shop is still there. The things are still there, but men are no more the same ones. It makes people feel sad and dreary as a Chinese poem says, “the present people can’t see the ancient moon but the present moon shone over the ancient people.”

    The favorable geographical position is lost and the prosperity no longer exists, but the full-bodied commercial atmosphere is still lingering. Commercial spirits have obviously become the family heirloom of the people of Changxiafan and have penetrated into all aspects of their life.  

    Changxiafan can perform easily in the ups and downs of history and wander freely throughout the long history of art and life. The street, the stone and the people make the newcomers feel at home.


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