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A glimpse of historical and cultural Guangzhou: Langtou Village

2017-November-27       Source: Newsgd.com

As one of China’s listed historic and cultural villages, Langtou Village is a typical Guangdong village with a long tradition of self-study and farming.

Editor’s Note: Guangzhou has a multitude of ancient towns and villages right on its doorstep. At present, three of them are on the list of China’s famous historic and cultural towns/villages: Shawan Ancient Town, Daling Village and Langtou Village. Now, follow Newsgd.com to visit these intriguing places one by one. First up, the remote and still overwhelmingly rural Langtou Village.

 

An aerial photo shows the well preserved and neatly arranged buildings in Langtou Village. [Photo/Guangzhou Daily]

As one of China’s listed historic and cultural villages, Langtou Village is a typical Guangdong village with a long tradition of self-study and farming. Located in Guangzhou’s Huadu District, it was founded during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).

Facing south, the village has a regular layout with many buildings reasonably well preserved. The entire village occupies an area of more than 60 thousand square meters.

An aerial photo shows the well preserved and neatly arranged buildings in Langtou Village. [Photo/Guangzhou Daily]

Today, there are 388 grey brick buildings built in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, including ancestral halls, studies, academies, blockhouses and gateways. The more imposing buildings in the village are mainly ancestral halls and bookrooms. Most of them were built in the Qing dynasty (1636-1912) and a very few of them were built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1664).

The general layout of the halls is known as the “Three Jian Three Jin” (三间三进, the space between two pillars from the front side is called one Jian and the space between two pillars from the side face is called one Jin) or “Three Jian Two Jin” (三间两进).

People gather at a study in Langtou Village. [Photo/Guangzhou Daily]

Diving down the myriad side streets and exploring the more ruined parts of the village offers a tantalizing glimpse into everyday life a hundred or so years ago.

The buildings have herringbone or wok ear gables to help prevent the spread of fire, and plaster carved Bogu or Dragon Boat ridges along the rooftops. Many of the halls feature high quality stone, brick, and wood carving, among which Youlan Ancestral Hall (友兰公祠) and Guyi Bookroom (谷诒书室) are perhaps the best examples.

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Editor: Monica Liu

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