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Dou Shan Alley

Dou Shan Lane, located in the center of Shexian County, one of the famous historic and cultural towns in China, is well known for its typical construction style of the local residential houses. Residential houses, whose characteristics are whitewashed walls, grey tiles and all kinds of stone carving ornaments, flank the winding lane, paved with large pieces of stone slabs. Among them the most outstanding are the Xu's, Yang's and Wang's residential houses.

The most attracting part of these houses is their elaborately carved beams and colorfully painted pillars. All the houses are two-storeyed, wood-bricked structures with 3-4 courtyards in successive order. Push in the front gate, you'll see an exquisite, winged skylight (Tian Jing). Stone carved windows with potted landscapes in the yard are main characteristics of the space. Step in the hall, which is flanked by a bedroom on either side, coming into your views are the ornaments of wood carvings on the beams or the pillars.

The vivid figures of the carvings originate from the traditional Chinese legendary stories and common practice. The ornaments with superb workmanship can be seen everywhere in the house, which really reflects the prosperous period of the local merchants who made great fortunes in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The representatives of the ornaments in the houses are the art carvings on wood, brick, bamboo and stone. The other worth seeing places of Dou Shan Lane are Ye Chastity Archway, the Toad Well and an ancient manger connected with Yue Fei, an ancient hero in Chinese history.

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