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  • Xitang
  • Xitang
  • Xitang
  • Xitang
  • Xitang
  • Xitang
  • Xitang
  • Xitang
  • Xitang
Xitang Ancient Town
Name in Chinese :西塘古镇
Opening Hours:Xitang: 24 hours; 11 Scenic Spots: 07:30-17:30 (Monday to Friday); 07:30~18:30 (Saturday and Sunday)
Admission Fee:xitang: Free; 11 scenic spots included: 100 RMB
Telephone:+86 573 84567890
Address:Jiashan County, Jiaxing City

Introduction

Xitang, a National AAAA Level scenic resort town in Jiashan County of the Zhejiang Province, represents one of the most renowned historical and cultural areas in China. Xitang is also a charming scenic spot favored by photographers and film-makers, and is located at the junction of three provinces – Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai.

An ancient town with a long history, rich cultural resources and beautiful natural scenery, it is also the birthplace of ancient Wu and Yue Culture. Xitang once lay on the border between the Wu and Yue Kingdoms. In Tang Dynasty (618AD-907 AD), a large number of villages had been built in Xitang. Later, in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127AD-1279 AD), as villages expanded in scale, economic activities in the region grew. Gradually, Xitang became an important market town, and businesses began to flourish in early Yuan Dynasty (1206AD-1368 AD). Xitang became the center of handicraft and commercial in Southern China from the time of the Ming Dynasty (1368 AD-1644AD).

Compared to the other towns in Southern China, the major difference lies in the 1000 meters long street porches in Xitang. Xitang is famous for its countless bridges and long porches, which serve as a mirror of ancient Chinese traditional culture. The majority of buildings in Xitang were built during the Ming Dynasty (1368 AD-1644AD) or Qing Dynasty (1644 AD-1911AD), reflecting the architectural styles popular during those eras. The alleys of varying lengths in the town have been well-preserved for hundreds of years, with their current number at 122.

There are five alleys that are more than 100 meters in length; of these, Shipi alley is the most famous. Shipi alley is located in the west of Zhongfutang, beside the Wang family house. 68 meters long, the maximum width of the alley is 1 meter, and is only 0.8 meter at its narrowest. The pavement is built using166 pieces of 3 cm-thick stone. Since it is almost impossible to make granite slabs so thin, the name of the alley came to be Shipi, which means “quite thin” in Chinese. With the passage of time, the walls have become mottled. When one steps into the quiet, long alley, it feels as though they are walking into a tunnel of history, experiencing the feel of ancient Xitang.

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