Qianzhou Ancient Town revitalizes for protection and development

May Thu 2024
Qianzhou Ancient Town in Jishou City was built during the Hongwu period of the Ming Dynasty. There are currently 52 protected historical buildings and characteristic residential buildings in the ancient town, including 1 national cultural heritage unit Qianzhou Confucian Temple and 3 provincial cultural heritage units, namely, former residences of Luo Rongguang and Yang Yuebin, as well as Jiufu Hall.

In recent years, Qianzhou Ancient Town has made efforts to develop the night economy based on cultural and tourism needs and has been rated as a national tourism and leisure block, a national 4A-level scenic area, and a provincial-level night culture and tourism consumption cluster.

Qianzhou was once an ancient county town in Jishou, a sturdy fortress during the Ming and Qing dynasties, and a stronghold of the South Great Wall.

With a core area of only 0.47 square kilometers, it is more peaceful and quiet than Fenghuang Ancient Town. The local people live a leisurely life, with residents playing chess on the wind and rain bridge, women pounding clothes by the Wanrong River and the elderly chatting at their doorstep.
The gray walls, black tiles, carved window frames, upturned eaves, and mottled bluestone pavement tell the story and history of the ancient town.

There are many attractions worth visiting, and the most famous are Hu Family’s Pond, the former residence of Luo Rongguang, as well as the Confucian Temple.

Tourist can get to the Hu Family’s Pond through a quiet alley from the north gate of the ancient town. There is a small stone arch bridge that connects the large and small ponds, and there is also an ancient well and weeping willows next to the pond. In early summer, large and small floating leaves are sprouting.

A group of ancient buildings from the Ming and Qing dynasties cluster around the lotus pond, such as former residences of Calligrapher Yang Weishu, General Yang Yuebin, and National Hero Luo Rongguang.

Among them, the former residence of Luo Rongguang is being upgraded, with a large number of physical objects and literature materials added. The exhibits are displayed in new forms through the sound, light and electricity technologies.

As night falls, Qianzhou Ancient Town is like a backyard for citizens to freely stroll.

Various programs like Qiancheng intangible cultural heritage shows, Xiangxi Miao folk songs, Miao Diaonian dances, lion dances, and China-Chic lantern shows are staged on holidays.

“Over 1,000 ancient residential buildings and old buildings have been renovated, but the original layout, and street system of the ancient town have been preserved,” said Xiang Qian, deputy general manager of Qianzhou Ancient Town Tourism Company, adding that starting from the autumn of 2022, a constant stream of tourists visited the city. It received 106,000 tourists and achieved a revenue of 6.01 million yuan during the May Day holiday this year.

Qianzhou Ancient Town also provides a cultural platform for cultural landmarks such as the Xiangxi Cultural and Historical Bookstore and the Banmu Fangtang Art Space. Various cultural salons, poetry recitation, and guqin performances are available. The cultural exhibition spaces, such as the Miao Cross-stitch Exhibition Hall, Ye’s Tujia Brocade Weaving, Xiangxi Folk Pottery Art Museum, Xiangxi Miao Painting Experience Museum, and Miao Silver Forging Art Exhibition Hall, attract tourists from all over the world to experience and purchase intangible cultural heritage creative products.

Nowadays, dressed in Hanfu, tourists can walk along the Wanrong River, climb the gate tower, and take a cruise on the Wanrong River. There are 410 shops in Qianzhou Ancient Town, with cultural shops accounting for over 65%. At night, tourists can taste tea, delicious food, and wine.
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