Xidi Village

Xidi Village is 8 kilometers east of the town seat of Yi County, Huangshan City, Anhui Province. According to “Noble Clans in Xin'an”, the place was surrounded by”Mt Luo in front, Mt Yangjian at the back, Mt Shishi in the north, and Mt Tianma in the south, flanked by two rivers flowing to the west instead of the east, hence named as Xidi", which means ”passing to the west” in Chinese.

The village embraced in the mountains is really scenic and abundant of resources. Inhabitants here are accustomed to a life of leisure and self-reliance with little disturbance from outside, therefore keep much of their ancient customs and enjoy the fame as “lucky folks of an Utopian land".

The present Xidi Village occupies an area of 12. 96 hectares surrounded by mountains, with three rivers or streams running through from the east and north to join into one in the south of the village. One main street and the two waterside roads provide the main structure of its streets and lanes roughly from west to east, expanding to the north and south at the same time, all paved with local stone slabs. The lanes, the streams, and the houses are pleasantly integrated with a rhythmic variation of space. The ancient buildings are mainly of brick and log, decorated with a variety of wood, stone and brick carvings impressively plain and elegant, characteristic of the talent and achievement of the ancient villages in the creating of human residence in southern Anhui.

Xidi Village Huangshan

Main Attractions in Xidi Village

1.  Archway of Hu Wen-guang

Archway of Hu wen-guang, popularly referred to as Archway of Xidi village, has a history of over 400 years since its erecting in 1578 in Ming Dynasty. Hu Wen-guang was a native of the village, who passed the civil service examination and was assigned as the magistrate of Wanzai County, Jiangxi Province, then Regional Director of Jiao Prefecture, an official of King Jing, and awarded with the rank of a Grade IV official. Because of his excellent administrative achievement, the emperor approved the erection of his archway of honor as a reward.

2. Jing Ai Hall

Jing Ai Hall seats on the east bank of the Front Stream, the largest shrine remaining in Xidi Village. It was originally the residence of Hu Shiheng, the 14th generation ancestor of the clan. First constructed in Ming Dynasty, later damaged in a fire, the hall was restored in Qing Dynasty as the clan shrine. It is a wood and brick structured building typical of Anhui architecture, covering 1,800 square meters as the center where the whole village expanded out.

3.  Zhui Mu Hall

This memorial hall is located at the upper of Street Dalu, first constructed in 1794 to commemorate the ancestors of Hu clan as a reminder of the historical origin of Li family and Hu family.

4. Kuang Gu Zhai  

Entering the village and going on along the slab road to Street Dalu, visitors would see an old and grand mansion: Kuan Gu Zhai. It was originally a courtyard house of family residence constructed in Qing Dynasty, with its Three Carvings of brick, wood, and stone well preserved.

5. Rui Yu Courtyard

Or Courtyard of Lucky Jade, this is a typical house of Hui merchants, built in Qing Dynasty at the entrance of Henglu Street.

6. Garden of Peach and Plum

The garden seats at the middle of Cross Street, built in Qing Dynasty. It was the family mansion of Hu Yuan-xi, a merchant of Hui from Xidi. The mansion consists of the main building and its courtyard, in a format of 3-room wide, 3-courted, and 2-storyed. The second story of the second court has an opening for sunlight and ventilation of the whole house.

7. West Garden and East Garden

West Garden is situated at the middle of Zhong Heng Road, the former family house of Hu Wen-zhao, a Grade IV official in ding Dynasty. The mansion consists of three courts, separated by low walls.

Parallel to West Garden is East Garden, built about 260 years ago in Qing Dynasty. It is an ancient mansion of multiple units, plain in style. The gate is not big, but particularly delicate, with the words “East Garden” inscribed above.

8.  Ying Fu Hall

This was the private residence of Hu Shang-zeng, a Grade II official of Qing Dynasty, the highest in rank among those from Xidi Village. The mansion was built in the reign (1662 – 1722) of Emperor Kangxi, 3-court and 3-story in structure.

9.  Dun Ren Hall

This house seats by the front stream, built in Qing Dynasty as the residence for his retired years by Hu Guan-san, number one merchant of Hui in the village and one of ” the six rich men in southern China".

10. Shang De Hall

Meaning “Virtue Hall” in Chinese, it is located at the upper of front stream, built 400 years ago in Ming Dynasty, the oldest of its kind in Xidi village.

11. Stream Villa

In Xidi village, the street along Rear Stream is particularly scenic with households, bridges and brooks. Among the houses here is this distinguished folk's villa, constructed in Qing Dynasty as part of the former Maoxiu (Diligent Cultivation) hall, specially set up for leisure and study.

Xidi Village