Scenic Spots in Dachang Ancient Town
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Scenic Spots in Dachang Ancient Town

Dachang Ancient Town

The city has three gates - the east gate, the south gate and the west gate. The east gate named Chaoyang Gate, the west gate named Yongfeng Gate and the south gate named Tongji Gate. All the three gates are in good condition. There are several well-preserved streets built in Ming and Qing Dynasties. The magnificently decorated arches and the ancient buildings with upturned eave rakes remain the same, still antiquity.

Old Pagoda Tree of the South Gate in Dachang Ancient Town

There are dozens of flagstones to the river outside the North Gate, and the flagstones worn smooth by years of detritions. There is a centuries-old pagoda tree on the arch built by bluestones. Its roots worked down between the stones of the arch, and crawls along the stone. It looks like a safeguard protecting the arch with its thriving branches and leaves. The damaged stone lions crouched beside the flagstones looks lonely and desolate, and they seemed to be telling the long story of the town and reminding the people to remember its former glory.

Old Buildings of Ming and Qing Dynasties in Dachang Ancient Town

Step into the old town along the flagstones, you will see an old street. The old well decorated buildings on both sides of the street tell its prosperity in the past. There are only two main streets in the town: the south-north street and the east-west street. The former is about 150 meters long, and the latter is about 240 meters long. The town covers an area of less than 10 hectares. There are 37 well decorated civil houses built in Ming and Qing Dynasties and well preserved ancient city wall. Most of the houses were built in Late Ming Dynasty to Early Qing Dynasty. The old houses’ blue bricks and carved beams and painted rafters present a simple gaudiness.

Courtyard of the Wen Family in Dachang Ancient Town

The Courtyard of the Wen Family is largest and best preserved building in the town. It was built in the early years of Qing Dynasty. It sits west to east, and covers an area of more than 320 square meters. The courtyard is made up of the entrance hall, the central hall and the rear chamber. All its beams and roofs were made of wood, and there are 12 pillars and 37 beams. The carved panes are shows a great workmanship. The courtyard is a column-and-tie construction; you can enter by the main doors and exit by the rear door. It is said by Wen Guanglin-the tenth generation of the Wen Family that his ancestor was a provincial governor in Qing Dynasty, and he began to build the Courtyard of the Wen Family. The Courtyard of the Wen Family is just a miniature of the ancient town. Dachang Town is the town of the Wuxi County as early as 227 BC. People understand Dachang Town’s history through continuously archeological discoveries. The Institute of Archaeology of China Academy of Social Science inferred that Dachang Ancient Town is the original city of the Ba people.

Present State of the Dachang Ancient Town

Dachang Ancient Town had been submerged by the Daning River since the Three Gorges Project started its storage work in May, 2003. The remove construction of the whole town had been started on February 21, 2002. The town would be rebuilt next to the Dachang Lake, which is 8 kilometers from its original location. This is a miracle in the history of the protection of the ancient civil buildings.

The reconstruction of the Dachang Ancient Town would strictly in accordance with the “rebuilt the old as the old” principle. The buildings would be numbered while dismantling and be reformed according to the number.

The reconstruction of the buildings had been finished so far. The South Gate, the Courtyard of the Wen Family, and the Academy of Ming Dynasty shows the character of  Ming and Qing Dynasties. The new ancient town would preserve the old traditions and customs, and would also represent the old life scene of the ancient town through the folk arts performance of wine-brewing and weaving.

The new Dachang Ancient Town had been open to the visitors on May 1, 2005. Since then the visitors could not only enjoy the landscape of lakes and mountains but also feel the old customs of the ancient town while they visit Lesser Three Gorges.

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