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Zengcheng: Gualing Village
Latest Updated by 2004-10-22 09:12:06
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Occupying an area of over 100 mu (66,666 square meters) and hosting a total population of 630, Gualing Village of Xintang Town in the city of Zengcheng is known as an emigrant village, with over 3000 of its residents living abroad. The village has been listed as historical culture protection site by Guangzhou city.

Established in the early days of the Chenghua Period of the Ming Dynasty (1465), the village boasts a history of 539 years. The land used to be enclosed by water and all the local-style dwelling houses are built up above the water-surrounded land. A late resident Huang Guomin, who was a loyal supporter of Sun Yat-sen and who acted as the head of Zengcheng county, named the village 'Guazhou' in the hopes that his descendants would thrive and prosper on the land. Later, the village was renamed 'Gualing'.

With the passage of time, the water areas in the west, south and north have been filled and leveled off, leaving only the 20-meter-wide river in the east. However, with the lush foliage and shimmering waves, the village gives the impression of 'a land of rice and fish'. The ancient buildings in the village are kept in good shape, setting off the modern western-style ones and providing delightful contrasts. Watchtowers, at a height of over 20 meters, rise high against the land, looking refreshingly beautiful.

Water-encircled architectural complexes of the Qing Dynasty

More than 200 ancestral temples and residential houses, which were built above the water, can be found in the village, they are well laid out with 11 stone lanes extending among them. Gualing Village is said to have been detected during the fourth general survey of cultural relics in Guangzhou in 2002, since then it has been listed as a historical culture protection site. The ancient buildings found here are said to be the first and only batch of Qing residential houses to be build over an expanse of water.

Editor: Catherine

By: Source: Chinaculture.org
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