The most attracting characteristics of Xi Di are her perfectly well preserved 124 civilian houses, which were built one after another in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. All the houses are covered by grey tiles with white-washed walls around the courtyards. The 99 winding alleys or lanes, paved with large pieces of stone slabs, connect all the households together. Two crystal-clear brooks pass through the village, and provide endless streams for the housewives' frequent washing. The whole village is just hugged by small green hills, whose slopes are covered by bamboo or tea bushes and young pine forest.
At the entrance of the village, your attention will be caught by a magnificent memorial archway, which was built in honor of a celebrated official in mid Ming Dynasty. Inside the village you will find that all the houses were built with one common feature: the wood-bricked structures with two storeys, elaborately carved beams, and colorfully painted pillars. The designs of the wood carvings are all originated from Chinese legendary stories and ancient routine practice.
The ornaments with superb workmanship can be seen everywhere in the houses, which really reflect the prosperous period of the former dwellers whose business covered stitle trade, pawnshop, etc. The representatives of such houses are several ancient clan halls and merchants' residences, the Hall of Kindness, the Hall of Auspices, etc. to name a few. Just as Hongcun Village, it was also accepted by UNESCO as the World Cultural Heritage Site in 2000. (See: http://whc.unesco.org/sites/1002.htm for details)
[ 1 ] [ 2 ]