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Tang Yue Memorial Archway Complex

Tang Yue Memorial Archway Complex with trees in AnhuiShexian County is regarded as "a town of archways". In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, there were more than 200 memorial archways dotted all over the whole territory, now only 80 of which remain well. Among the preserved ones, Tang Yue Memorial Archway Complex is most significant and completely well-preserved.

At the entrance of the Tang Yue Memorial Archway Complex stand the seven magnificent stone memorial archways---three built in the Ming dynasty and four in the Qing Dynasty, in the successive order of loyalty, filial piety, women's chastity and charity. Each arch was built in relation with a moving story and vividly reveals in one way or another moral value of the time. The seven arches are of great magnificent and classic elegance with both cultural and artistic values. By the side of the seven archways stand two ancient clan halls---one for men, called as Dun Ben Tang, which means the hall of honesty, and another for women called as Qing Yi Tang, which means the hall of fine examples. Both halls provide vivid statues for the tourists to understand the life and work style of the local merchants' families in the patriarchal-feudal system evolved in Huizhou Area. In addition, the construction of a women's hall at the mid 19th century was a rare symbol of women's victory over feudal routine "women were not allowed to enter the clan hall".

Tang Yue Memorial Archway Complex memorialize three different categories of honor - scholarly, imperial and ethical. Scholarly honor arches celebrate family members passing the provincial or national level imperial exams. Imperial honor refers to an Emperor's decree ordering the erection of a memorial arch in recognition of the contribution of a local government official. Ethical honor describes arches put up to recognize the uncommon personal integrity of a particular individual or set of individuals. Traditional themes were righteousness, charity, chastity and filial piety. The Long-Lived Arch, for example, celebrates a loving couple, who lived to be 100 years old during the Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644).

Usually, memorial arches were made of stone. Single-fronted, they bear calligraphy, describing the reason for the Tang Yue Memorial Archway Complex. Often two posted, some have four posts and others, especially if they are square, have eight supporting posts. Although most of the arches are double-tiered some can be as many as five-storied.

 

Tang Yue Memorial Archway Complex Tour

As the most significant and completely well-preserved buildings, Tang Yue Memorial Archway Complex is the attraction should not miss during the Huangshan Tour. And during the trip, tourists will also learn more about the history.