Xi Xian Ancient Stone Arches - China Travel Tour Guide
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Ancient Stone Arches at Xi Xian
The Ancient Stone Arches at Xi Xian is situated at Xi Xian of Anhui Province in China, about 26km away from the Tunxi and 5km away from the town of Xi Xian. It is a general designation of seven ancient stone arches.
The seven ancient stone arches range in proper order. There are three arches of Ming Dynasty and four of Qing Dynasty, showing that people in Chinese ancient feudal society attached importance to the morals of "allegiance, piety, loyalty and justice". Among them, one stone arch of Ming Dynasty, on the horizontal inscribed board there carved several big characters.
At that time emperor commended the Anhui merchant Baoshouxun and his son, so the stone arch was built. According to the history materials, the capital Lida at Xi Xian in Yuan Dynasty led his subordinates to rebel, burning, killing and robbing. The Baoshouxun and his son were robbed, they wanted to kill one between the father and the son and let them make a decision.
Unexpectedly the father and the son were both willing to die and hoping the other could survive. Their emotions made the heaven moved and the enemy could not bear to kill them. Later the imperial court knew this thing and praised them especially, so the stone arch was built.
The Qianlong Emperor of Qing Dynasty once bestowed an antithetical couplet to the Baoshi stone arch: the piety is unique in the world, the beautiful scenery is the best in South River." It is said that the Baoshi had already had three stone arches of "allegiance", "piety" and "loyalty" at that time, but no the stone arch of "justice".
The whole village is all the Baoshi and till the period of Baoshufang, he acted as an official controlling the finance of Jiangsu Province and grasped the vitals of salt in South River. He hoped that the emperor could bestow the stone arch of "loyalty" very much to bring honor to their ancestors, so he donated 100,000 burdens rice and food and 30,000 Liang money, then he built dams and rivers 800li and gave military supplies. So he was so prodigal of benefactions that the imperial court bestowed him and deigned him to build a stone arch to praise his family.
So in the village of Tangyue a stone arch of "loyalty" was built again. Among so many stone arches at Xi Xian, this close relation between politics and economics using mutually was common occurrence. The ancient stone arches at Tangyue are grand and magnificent, exceptionally in whole Chinese.
There are two ancestral halls near the group of stone arches at Tangyue, one is Baoshi Guoban ancestral hall, commonly called male ancestral hall. The other is Baoshi Bi ancestral hall, also called Qingyi Hall, commonly called female ancestral hall. These two ancestral halls are used to study ancestral family systems of ancient Anhui areas and it is a lovely book to study the famous merchants of Anhui from past to present. It is clear that the female ancestral hall broke the tradition and the old custom that women could not enter the ancestral hall, this is unique in Chinese ancient feudal society.
The people of ancient times brought honor to their ancestors for purpose, they set up the ancient stone arches of "allegiance, piety, loyalty and justice" to commend the outstanding people. At the same time, this stone arch is a tangible and invisible ruler in towns. A large number of stone arches are built in the places of the Yellow Mountain.
These historical traces have already suffered lots of destroys, but up to now more than 100 stone arches still preserved perfectly. The group of stone arches at Tangyue is the representative of that with unique construction design and landscapes. It is the place that modern people who like ancient construction and feudal cultures prefer to visiting.
Some historians believe that the stone arches are the gifts that history bestowed the Yellow Mountain. In history, outstanding people came forth in large numbers in the Yellow Mountain such as Litinggui, Zhuxi, Bisheng, they are all the outstanding people of different period and different dynasties. Only at Xi Xian there were 542 Jinshi and 1,531 scholars in Ming and Qing Dynasty. It is worth saying that in belts of the Yellow Mountain especially, under the pressure of the stone arch of "chastity", women were suffered the feudal thoughts a lot and many women whose life was full of setbacks and misfortunes such as Wangsan girl in "Confucian Schools Informal History".