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Historical imprints keep ancient village alive

By Huang Chenkuang (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2016-11-15

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Bangtang village, first established during the Tang Dynasty (AD 907-960), has earned wide-spread fame for its well-preserved dwelling complexes.

Situated in the west suburb of Leizhou city in Zhanjiang, Bangtang was once home to an ancient official, Li Dezhong, and his later generations from the middle period of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) when most of the dwellings were built.

The finely carve eaves of one of the ancient dwellings in Bangtang village. [Photo/zj.southen.com]

Most of the buildings are inlay-style shaped quadrangle courtyards, with branches poking through house's beautiful carved eaves and pillars with carved decorations supporting lofty ceilings, turning the clock back to the Ming Dynasty for visitors walking through.

The grey brick wall carved with a pattern representative of "Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix". [Photo/zj.southen.com]

The most eye-catching dwelling complex in the village is one that once belonged to the former wealthiest man of the village. It is made up of dozens of adjacent buildings, including a vast hall connecting such spaces as a living room and a study, featuring tablets carved with Chinese characters that express good wishes.

A stone-carved decoration of one of the ancient dwellings in Bangtang village. [Photo/zj.southcn.com]

Another highlight is believed to have been built by an ancient official working for the salt bureau. The carved animals and planetary patterns on the grey brick walls were based on the traditional Chinese story "Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix", which symbolizes good fortune in political careers.

Colorful paintings on the wall. [Photo/zj.southcn.com]

The ancient dwelling complex is a sign of the long history of rich culture in Leizhou, and is expected to receive further promotion and protection.

A stone-carved decoration on the ancient dwelling. [Photo/zj.southcn.com]