By Yuling Chen, EDITOR
154 years ago, Yunyang Peng’s Ancestral Temple, a Qing-dynasty-style residential building, sprang up. Hidden in the mountain of a local village in Yunyang County, Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality, it took 20 years for construction and cost 200,000 liang silver.
What you see from afar is not the walls or gates, but the watchtower that stands upright. Facing the watchtower, which stands at the center, the remaining podiums distribute around it to create an enclosed space. At that time, there were 12 floors in total. Due to repeated lightning strikes, it was later reduced to nine floors. Then, it becomes what it is today.
Covering an area of 2,561 square meters, the Ancestral Temple is an enclosed castle compound courtyard. It consists of the front entrance hall, the main entrance hall, the worship hall, the theater stage, the patio, the defensive wall, the enclosing wall, the wing room, the watchtower and the four-corner turret. A tower of stone and wood structure stands at the center of the courtyard. The nine-story tower with triple eaves and helmet roofs on four corners is 37 meters high.
Except for its fanciful architecture, the Ancestral Temple hosts more than 20 stone inscriptions, calligraphy and paintings by famous modern painters and calligraphers such as Peng Juxing, Yao Yanshou, and Liu Zhen’an. Moreover, it is an important historical material for studying the architectural style and plastic art of residential buildings in Eastern Sichuan in the late Qing dynasty. In 2013, it was rated as the National Key Cultural Relics Protection Unit.
At present, the relevant departments of Chongqing are carrying out rescue protection for the Ancestral Temple, including the repair of the building group, the auxiliary construction around the Ancestral Temple. Shortly afterward, more people will see the hidden treasure in the mountain.