The Tonghai ancient city has formed the spatial pattern of “Mountain – City – Lake”. The 103 courtyards of the old town are historical buildings, of which eight courtyards are Ming Dynasty buildings. There are two national intangible cultural heritages in the county. Tonghai has successively won the honorary titles of “advanced national county of cultural relics”, “advanced national county of culture”, “Chinese couplet culture county” and “hometown of Chinese poetry”.
Tonghai is not big; it’s just long-lasting.
The deep ancient lane is connected with the main street and the courtyard at the other. There are bluestone road at the foot during the stroll, wooden eaves at the head, bonsai in the courtyard, and couplets in front of the door.
Each City Has Its Duty
Looking at the ancient city of Tonghai, it is full of antique.
Although the old city wall of Yucheng is no longer there, the texture and spatial scale of streets and lanes in the Ming and Qing Dynasties are basically preserved, and the remaining residents still live a leisurely and slow life.
In the Ming Dynasty, Tonghai was “one place and three cities”: Yucheng, Jiuxian, and Yen. Each of the three cities performed its duties. The whole ancient city took advantage of the mountains and faced north, forming a spatial pattern of mountains, lakes, and cities. Yen City, located in the east of the town, was initially built for government reception and business travel protection, but it was destroyed by war during the reign of Emperor Shunzhi of the Qing Dynasty.
Lane, Lake and Dam City
Upstream, out of the Imperial City, to the old county.
The two ancient cities are closely linked, but not the same. The old county is located at the foot of Xiushan mountain. The main streets are parallel to the lakeshore in a stripe shape. In contrast, the other roads intersect the main street in a north-south direction, forming a comb-shaped street system, which reflects the typical characteristics of Huba City in Yunnan Province. Yucheng, which no longer has the defense function, has little difference from Jiuxian in part. It’s just that the atmosphere of life in the old county is more robust, and the Xiushan building complex adds more culture.
There are not only ancient buildings but also many cultural relics in Tonghai, including 3 Neolithic sites, 3 Beiqiu sites, 16 ancient tombs and buildings from the spring and Autumn period and Warring States period to the Ming and Qing Dynasties, more than 300 ancient temples, more than 300 ancient dwellings, 68 valuable ancient steles, and 160 ancient plaques. At present, Tonghai has invested more than 500 million yuan in the renovation of Xiushan ancient buildings, Sansheng palace in Xiaoxin village, Ma Kechang former residence, Jiulongchi, Yuanming Temple, Hexi Confucian temple, Hexi Dafu temple, Changshi Ancestral Hall, and other cultural relics. It has successively completed the infrastructure renovation projects of 13 historic streets, including Wenmiao street and Wenxing street.
Three Main Rooms in the Ming and Qing Dynasties Are Different
Unlike other ancient cities, which are already bustling, there are only one or two tourists in Tonghai. Many innkeepers, primarily residents, do some business, by the way, to take care of old houses.
Sun’s old house is a typical “one seal” residence – three-four ears down eight feet, open patio to light. The center of the courtyard is full of potted plants, and the green makes the ancient square prosperous; almost every column beam has couplets. “Spend 120, can live in Ming Dynasty room”, many Sichuan and Chongqing tourists come to this in winter to bask in the sun, summer to avoid summer, occupancy rate can help also.
To better protect the ancient city, the sea’s investment has been increased in recent years, and public services such as water, electricity and network have gradually been equalized. Meanwhile, the residents are guided to transfer to the new urban area, relieve the pressure of the ancient city’s protection, and create a famous historical and cultural city of “ancient city ancient rhyme and new town new scenery”.