Tangyue Memorial Archways
The Tangyue Memorial Archway group is composed of seven arches. It is located on the road at the entrance of the Tangyue village in the west of Shexian County. The arches represent, in successive order, loyalty, filial piety, women's chastity and charity. The Tangyue Memorial Arch group is constructed from good quality green stones that are produced in Shexian County, and the structure does not use any nails or rivets. The skillful combination of the stones is magnificent. In addition, a large number of beautiful carvings in the Hui style are placed around the body of the arches.
Three of the seven arches in the Tangyue Memorial Arch Group are from the Ming dynasty, and four are from the Qing Dynasty. Although they have a long history, the architectural style is a successful combination of old and new. The seven arches include the Baocanxiao Memorial Arch, the Cixiaoli Memorial Arch, the Jiexiao Memorial Arch of Wang, the wife of Baowenling, the Kindness Arch, the Jiexiao Memorial Arch of Wu, the second wife of Baowenyuan, the Baofengchang Dutiful Son Memorial Arch, and the Baoxiangxian Shangshu (a rank in ancient times in China) Memorial Arch. All are memorial arches of the Bao families of Tangyue village.
The Cixiaoli Memorial Arch was built in the Yongle period of the Ming dynasty to honor Baosheyan and Baoshouxun, who were father and son. They were captured by rebels, who wanted to kill one of them and made them choose who was to live and who would die. Both wanted to sacrifice his own life to save his relative’s life. To honor the father and son, the emperor commissioned a memorial arch. Later, Qianlong, an emperor of the Qing dynasty, inscribed a couplet: “There is no second one of love and filial piety in the world, Tunxi village is the first village of beautiful south of the lower reaches of the Changjiang River,” and he appropriated sliver to repair the arch. The memorial archways have been respected by generations of ancient Chinese emperors.