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Xi Di Village

the archway in Xidi village with a lake in the dusk in AnhuiXi Di Village, is a very beautiful village located near Huangshan Mountain in southern Anhui province (Yixian County), in China, which was declared a part of the "Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui" World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000, along with the village of Hongcun.

Xi Di Village is the perfect place for visitors to see typical folk houses, where residents have lived as they have for centuries. It gives visitors the rare opportunity to explore China's ancient culture, and arts. It was first built during the Huangyou era (1049–1053) in the reign of emperor Renzong of the Song Dynasty and was originally called Xichuan (West River), because of the water courses which flow through the village.

 Xi Di Village

The rise of Xi Di Village was closely tied to the fortunes of the Hu family. During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) members of this family began to act as merchants by 1465, which gave rise to the construction of major private buildings and public infrastructure. By the middle of the 17th century, the influence wielded by members of the Hu family expanded from commerce into politics. The prosperity of Xidi peaked in the 18th and 19th centuries, at which time the village comprised about 600 residences.

Xi Di Village with a history of over 900 years, is segmented by over 40 ancient winding and narrow lanes which are paved with bluestones. Visitors strolling through this ancient village will discover traditional Hui-style houses, ancestral temples, academies of classical learning, stone archways, white walls and grey tiles, beautifully paned windows, projecting horse-head walls, and stone slab bridge. These features are all centuries old and the residents live as they always have making Xidi Village an open-air museum. Xidi village with a lake in Anhui

The whole Xi Di 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 salt trade, pawnshops, ect.

The representatives of such houses in Xi Di Village are several ancient clan halls and merchants' residences the Hall of Kindness, the Hall of Auspices, ect. to name a few. From that moment when visitors step into this village they feel that every inch of it was designed by artists. On the marble doorframes, flowers, birds and beasts can be found carved on them. The carved bricks feature: pavilions, human figures, and scenes from local operas. Many villagers have kept many of these arts alive, and visitors can visit them and see their woodcarvings, murals, and gardens exhibition by the local villagers. In Xidi Village, the arrangements of the antique furniture, and the lay of the paintings in the houses are as they were during the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368—1911AD).

 

Xi Di Village Tour

Today, the major attractions are 124 well preserved wooden residences from the Ming and Qing dynasties with beautiful carvings. Many of the residences are open to the public.