What a bountiful ancient town!
A glimpse of Fengsheng Ancient Town (Picture provided by Chongqing Banan Cultural and Tourism Development Committee)
Fengsheng Tower (Photogrpahed by Dai Mingquan)
Shiquan Hall (Photogrpahed by Feng Yahong)
Grand Show in the Antient Town (Photogrpahed by Xia Shouan)
Morning of the Ancient Town (Photogrpahed by Feng Yahong)
CHONGQING (CQNEWS) -- I have been to many ancient towns, but have never seen such that hides deeply between the mountain peaks and valleys, with ancient forts and villages standing slightly farther up, with towers and fences protecting in a slightly near distance, and thus it is commonly known as “Fengmenchang” ancient town; nor have I seen one that is both a major pass and a thoroughfare with a title of “one can standing on the border of three counties here”, which is known as the “No. 1 Dry Dock on the Yangtze River”; and I have never seen one that has been built in the Song Dynasty, with its ingenious architecture still intact today.
And I visited the Fonsheng Ancient Town in Banan District.
What a bountiful array of architecture left behind by our ancestors! Fengshengchang Ancient Town resembles a small city, with a large area of intact Ming and Qing dynasties buildin
gs such as palaces, halls, courtyards, buildings, streets, lanes, shops, and houses preserved to this day. The Ancient Town is connected by Fushou Street, Shizi Street, Banbian Street, Jiangxi Street, Shouzi Street and Changning Street, and if you walk into one of these streets, you will be able to enjoy the view all the way.
The old street is flanked by two to three storey all wooden shophouses. The stone-paved street winds its way through a series of mansions and wooden residential buildings. The streets are full of Ming and Qing Dynasty buildings of brick and tile, mortise and tenon timber construction and carved wooden windows. The courtyards behind the streets are mostly built with brick and black tiles, with three floors or two floors forming a base, and their eaves, halls, doors and windows are decorated with various patterns, featuring the typical Huizhou style, whilst grand families have guard towers, with each courtyard forming its own separate entity, with its own distinctive style. The shops on the street are all two-storeyed, with the upper floor occupied by people and the lower floor used as a shop, all with wooden walls and doors.
Shizi Street, built by the intersection of two streets running east-west and north-south, is the most prosperous commercial street in the ancient town. In addition to the usual grocery shops, department stores, inns and restaurants, the original shops and handicraft workshops with folk characteristics are more striking, such as handmade weighing scales, hand-flicked cotton, tied sorghum straw broom, herbal medicine shops, old-fashioned barber shops featuring swivel chairs, local cuisine workshops that producing various types delicacies. If you take a look at the old houses, you can also enjoy the many antique carved furniture decorations.
The local specialties and traditional food are equally plentiful, including smoked dried bean curd, roasted preserved pork, special rice candy, hand-ground bean curd, handmade noodles, freshly squeezed walnut and peanut juice, as well as the old liquor that was said to be a must for horse racers back in the day, pickled vegetables in jars of water, and soya beans cooked in a flaming fire. You can taste your way through with a toothpick and you’ll be about a half full.
Fengsheng is also known as a “longevity town”. There are many old people in their 90s who can carry fertilizer, hoe, farm and do business, and are still physically strong. My thought is that the Ancient Town, which has been preserved by history and nurtured by the environment, gives people such a rich space for life, so it is no wonder that the people in this town say they are content.
A brief introduction to the Scenic Area
Feng Sheng Ancient Town is located in Fengsheng Town in Banan District, which was built in the Northern Song Dynasty and flourished in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, with a history of over a thousand years. It enjoys the title of “one can standing on the border of three counties there” because of its location in the former Ba County, Fuling and Nanchuan. From the end of the Ming Dynasty to the beginning of the Republic of China, Fengsheng was a transit point for land transport from Chongqing to Guizhou, a distribution point for the exchange of materials between Fuling, Nanchuan, Luoqi, Mudong and other surrounding towns, boasting the important post station for merchants and travelers, and the largest dry dock in Ba County at the time, enjoying more than 10 core attractions such as the Shiquan Hall, Yuwang Palace, Renshou Teahouse, the Ancient Town Ink Pond and the Mohai Landscape Project.
Fengsheng Ancient Town is famous for its abundant products and flourishing trade. It is a famous historical and cultural town in China, a national 4A-level scenic spot, a famous historical and cultural town in Chongqing Municipality, one of the top ten most beautiful towns in Chongqing, and a model town for civilized tourism in the countryside of Chongqing.
Ancient Town Sightseeing: A walk through Fengsheng Ancient Town is like strolling through a dream of a thousand years of prosperity, which is tranquil and leisurely, quaint and peaceful, and only by savoring it carefully can you appreciate its unique style. Strolling on the streets, you can find that the towers, carved patterns and outer balconies are the three characteristics of the architecture of Fengsheng Ancient Town. In its prosperity times, Fengsheng Ancient Town was home to more than 20 towers, 15 of which still exist, making it the largest group of towers of Qing Dynasty.in Chongqing.
Cultural Experience: There are eight old streets in the ancient town, namely Jiangxi Street, Hanbian Street, Yakou Street, Shizi Street, Shuyuan Street, Changning Street, Shouzi Street and Gongzheng Street, changing in height and twist and are mostly paved with stones, which are well preserved nowadays and have nurtured the culture of filial piety and goodness, such as the “four halls” in the four halls reflecting each other, including the People’s Tea Hall, Dream Classroom, Family Hall and the Farmers’ Cottage, which convey to visitors the ideas of knowing and understanding, moving forward, filial piety and goodness, harmony and gratitude and blessing.
Culinary tasting: The Liu family’s Sihe Grain Beans in the Ancient Town are made from carefully selected large-grain beans, using the traditional process of roast peppercorns and peppers in a large pot with a wood stove, and are made in seven processes, making them a very famous snack. Fengsheng smoked dried bean has a history of more than 100 years. Its raw material is high-quality soybeans produced in Fengsheng Town, which boasts the characteristics of crisp outside and tender inside, good color as well as fragrance and so on.
Public transportation: Sigongli Junction - Bus D005 - Mudong Station - (transfer) Bus 923 - Fengsheng Ancient Town. (Written by Han Yi)
(Translated by Wang Huixin, Fathom Language Limited)