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Pingyao Overview

Pingyao, located in Shanxi Province, is possibly the best-preserved ancient walled city in China. The city wall was first bulit during the Zhou Dynasty (11th century - 256 B.C) and was expanded in 1370. Since 1997, it has been listed as a World Heritage Site. What's unique here is this well-preserved ancient city with its grand, solemn city wall, its residence and shops, and even the government office all in the style of the Ming(1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911).


The city wall stretches for about six kilometers. The town is protected by a city moat, both three meters deep and wide. Outside the city gate is a drawbridge. Within the city, four big streets and eight small streets radiate to join with 72 lanes. The 3,797 original quadrangle residential houses are all of the same black-colored bricks and gray-colored tiles. Out of the total, over 400 of these courtyard houses are still well preserved. There are also temples of varying size and old-fashioned stores.