Hongcun Village

Hongcun Village, a UNESCO world heritate site lies at the southwest foot of the Yellow Mountain (Mt. Huangshan), 11 km southwest of Yi County of Anhui Province, a gateway for merchants to go to the capital city in ancient times.

The village covers an area of 28 hectares, of which 19.11 are recognized as the ancient section, where there are 158 folk houses of Ming and Qing dynasties (1368 -1911) and 137 of them are preserved intact. With its main street as the axis, the village is near the joint of Yangtze River and Sui Stream in the west, East Stream and East Mountain in the east, Leigang Mountain at its back, Moon Pond in the north, South Lake and Qishu Lake in the south.

The layout of the village resembles the outline of an ox, hence it is popularly addressed as “Ox-shaped Village". The high Leigang Mountain is the perking head, the tall green trees are the horns, the village proper with its crowded houses is the body, the clean ponds are the stomach, the meandering ditches among the houses are the intestines, and the four outthrust bridges are the legs. The village lies peacefully like an ox at ease among the blessing green mountains guarding the fertile farmlands.

Hongcun Village

Main Attractions in Hongcun Village

1. South Lake Academy

South Lake is beautiful with its picturesque landscape. In the late Ming Dynasty the villagers set up six private schools by the north of the lake, called “Six academies by the Lake”, for the education of the clan's youngsters. In 1814, the six academies merged into one and named as” Intellectual Family Academy”, also referred to as South Lake Academy. As a representative complex of ancient schools in Hui prefecture, South Lake Academy is now under the special provincial protection.

2. Lexu Hall

Also called Hall of All Families, it is the primary shrine of the Wang clan, located at the north of Moon Pond in the village and constructed together with the pond in Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). 

3. South Lake

This lake is praised as “the minor West Lake by the foot of Yellow Mountain". It is so named because its position is right in the south of the village. First dug in 1607, the man-made lake holds about 2 hectares of water expanse in a shape of a big bow.

4. Moon Pond

From South Lake along the ditch northward to the center of the village, visitors come to a crescent pool, called Moon Fen or Moon Pond, which is the “stomach” of Hongcun Village, and the site of “Early Spring at Moon Pond”, one of the eight scenes of the village.

5. Water Conduit

This watercourse of the village is the “ox intestine”, leading in water from Shijie, the”ox tongue" west of the village, where water falls on the rock like pearls, then runs forward in the shade of trees along side West Stream. Here is another one of the village's eight scenes: Water Ripples at Shijie.

6. Chengzhi Hall

Chengzhi (Ambition Succeeding) Hall seats at the middle of the water conduit. It was the family house of Wang Ding-gui, a prominent salt dealer in later Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911). The house was built in 1855, now under provincial protection as a key historical site.

7. Lexian Hall

Lexian(Sage Pleasing) Hall was built on the main street of the village in 1699, occupying 411 square meters with 358 meter- floor space. This is one of the “three primary halls” (the other two are Sanli Hall and Baoyi Hall), now under the provincial protection as historical sites.

8. Deyi Hall

Deyi (Virtue and Righteousness) Hall is a typical waterside residence, first constructed in 1815, covering only 220 square meters with 144 square meters floor space. Within a relatively small area, the house is arranged and decorated like a garden, with potted landscapes and flowers and trees as well. 

9. Green Garden

It is also a waterside mansion which lies near the source of the village's water conduit. First built towards the end of Ming Dynasty, it was later damaged, then restored in 1825, covering an area of 278 square meters with 256 square meters total floor space. Facing south by a pond of running water, the mansion has a courtyard, a garden, a pond, a tower pavilion, and a wood carving tower.

Hongcun Village