Peitian Ancient Buildings
Peitian Ancient Buildings, actually a village with 800 years of history, is a well-kept ancient architecture complex with typical architectural style of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Like with the Hakka Earthen Buildings in Yongding County, Peitian Ancient Buildings form another unique example of the architectural style and culture of the Hakkas.
Peitian Ancient Buildings lie under Guanzhai Mountain: the national key scenic pot in Liancheng County, Fujian Province, and is about 307 kilometers (191 miles) from Xiamen City. This ancient architecture complex consists of 30 dwellings (most of which have courtyards), 21 ancestral temples, 6 academies, 2 memorial archways and a 1,000-meter ancient street. At present, there are about 300 families (about 1,500 people) living in the village.
‘Water Supply Engineering’ with an 800-Year History
All of these buildings are built with black bricks, gray tiles and wood, and the paths were built with cobblestones. Most of the ancient architectures there are well-kept, with unique reliefs, couplets, horizontal inscribed boards, stone carvings, and carved patterns. Even though the village was built hundreds of years ago, a form of ‘water supply engineering’, which channels water from a stream on the hill, has been used in the construction, and the channel system still works today.
Guan Ting: the Representative Building in Peitian Ancient Village
The most famous building in Peitian is Guan Ting (官厅, /gwan-ting/), a specialized place for visiting officials' accommodation during ancient times. Guan Ting, built with axisymmetric structure, is located in the center of the village and is a large-scale building with courtyard. Even though, the building has numerous rooms and halls, the daylighting of every room or hall is never negatively influenced, because of the skilled use of patios. These design skills are used in the construction of most of the building in the village.
The Earliest Free System of Education in China
Peitian Village has had an established student financial aid system and scholarship system, and has carried out the earliest free system of education in China since the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). Since then, the small village (with a population of about 1,000 persons) has educated hundreds of scholars. What’s more, the village was so advanced that it founded a women’s school: Rongxi House (容膝居, /rong-sshee-jyoo/) hundreds of years ago, which was really rare in ancient China. In this school, ladies could learn how to be a good mother and the skills of making embroidery, clothes, shoes, dishes and so on.
There is an inn, which was developed based on a dwelling in the village. If you are interested in having a night in the quiet village, you can choose the inn at Wu Family Courtyard (吴家大院). There are tens of rooms for your selection and it only costs tens of yuan. Free broadband is available in the inn.
Tel: 0597-8388889 or 13859553790
Location: Peitian Ancient Buildings is situated in Liancheng County Town (连城县), which is about 118 kilometers (73 miles) from Longyan City (龙岩市). Longyan City is about 200 kilometers (124 miles) from Xiamen City. It is better to have a tour guide when visiting the village.
How to get there: The three transfer stations are Longyan City, Liancheng County Town, and Pengkou. Take a bus from Longyan City to Liancheng County Town (about 2.5 hours), then transfer by bus to Pengkou in Liancheng County, and lastly, catch a taxi or a bus to Peitian Ancient Buildings. The best choice is joining in a tour group, making Peitian Ancient Buildings an extension of the tour to the Hakka Earthen Buildings in Yongding. Hence, you can appreciate two unique examples of Hakka architectural style in Fujian Province.
Admission fee: 50 yuan per person (free for any child whose height is less than 1.2 meters)
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I updated this article on November 20, 2012
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