Pingyao Ancient City
is located in the middle of Shanxi Province at north China, with a history more than 2,700 years. Pingyao was the home of a powerful trading family with significant commercial influence even beyond Shanxi, as they were in the trade sector, a nationwide business. Once served as a bustling economic center of feudal China, the current Pingyao Old Town looks like pretty much as the same as it did about 600 years ago. Either Pingyao History or Pingyao Culture plays an important role in China.
The history of Pingyao could be tracked back to Han Dynasty because the Pingyao Ancient Town was designed fully according to the traditional Han People's city planning. The stoic city walls also did its part to shield Pingyao from marauding enemies from the 14th to 19th centuries, allowing Pingyao to swiftly flourish. The walls were first erected in the Zhou dynasty and last rebuilt during the Ming. After the Song army set the earthen walls on fire in AD 960, the walls were covered with bricks. By the 19th century, the once dynamic Pingyao town fell into provincial obscurity and the walls became a psychological prison. Then move forward the Pingyao history. When modernization fever swept through China in the 1980’s, town officials laid plans to demolish the ancient city and rebuild the Pingyao ancient town to accommodate what was hoped to be a future economic boom.
Much of Pingyao is made up of traditional Chinese courtyard dwellings, some of which are still homes for families who have lived here for hundreds of years. These dwellings, called Siheyuan in Chinese have attracted tourists from all over the world, who come to Pingyao to experience the Ming - Qing Dynasty life style. This particular Siheyuan is called Wu Dai Tong Tang, which means five generations living under one roof. Pingyao Ancient Town is also famous for its vaulted ceiling dwellings, which are characteristic of northwestern China. These Yao Dong dwellings are built of masonry and are known to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The doors and windows are decorated with intricate woodcarvings that have survived for hundreds of years and give these houses a quaint yet artistic feel.
About 388.9 square kilometers
Pingyao is located on the eastern banks of the Fen River, and is in the southwestern edge of the Taiyuan basin. It is adjacent to another Chinese Historic and Cultural City Qi County.
Encircled by the city wall with the length of six kilometers, four main streets, eight small streets and 72 lanes in Pingyao are intersected with each other in great order but with different functions. The South Street was the main commercial street in Pingyao. The Center Gate was reserved for guests of honor and those high-level officials, while the East Gate was the entrance for the status quo in Pingyao. Then the West Gate was kept for suspected criminals and candidates for death row.
The annual temperature in Pingyao is around 10 degrees celsius and the annual rainfall averages 450 mm. The highest temperature of the city is around 30 degrees celsius in summer, and the lowest is around -5 degrees celsius in winter. The spring of Pingyao is very short with the dry and cold climate there. Summer is the best season to visit Pingyao, and is the rainy season of the city. The summer of Pingyao is very hot and the temperature difference is very large during the days and nights. Autumn is very short in Pingyao, which has many sunny days and without severe termperature changes. Winter is the coldest season in Pingyao with the average temperature of around 0 degrees celsius and strong sandy wind there.