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Exploring Qing Dynasty Ancient Courtyards in Chongqing

By HU HUI|Apr 01,2024

On March 28, the “Perception of Chongqing” event was held in Banan District, Chongqing. Think tank experts and international students visited Peng’s Courtyard, one of the “Baxian Ancient Courtyards,” and experienced the folk historical memory of Chongqing.

The commentator Liu Bixiang introduced the history of Peng’s Courtyard.

The Peng’s Courtyard built in the Qing Dynasty

The guests came to the Nanquan Campus of Chongqing Institute of Technology and found Peng’s Courtyard in a quiet place deep in the campus. Surrounded by modern high-rise buildings, this old building is particularly eye-catching. The carved beams and painted pillars, the overlapping brackets, the wood carvings of the gate tower... the atmosphere of history is so strong, and Lojain, a blogger from Syria, couldn’t help but exclaim in admiration.

 Chongqing's Baxian County, with a long history, gave birth to Banan District, which is rich in culture. The “Baxian Ancient Courtyards,” which have endured years of precipitation and polishing, are a precious cultural treasure. In recent years, Banan District has protected the old courtyards, and each is turning into a poetic scene.

Liu Bixiang, the commentator of Banan Museum, introduced that this house was built in the second year of Daoguang’s reign of the Qing Dynasty, that is, 1822 AD. It has a history of more than 200 years and was the home of Peng Ruichuan, a great salt merchant at that time. When the guests walked into the house, they found carvings everywhere; the doors and windows were mostly hollowed out, and the main hall was more than ten meters high, all showing the house’s luxury back then. Now, it has become a key national cultural relic protection unit.

Create a cultural tourism brand

In Banan, there are still more than 200 remains of ancient buildings from the Ming and Qing Dynasties. “Most of these ancient courtyards are large in scale, with a quadrangle layout and exquisite carvings. They have been around for over a hundred years. They have highly artistic attainments in architecture and decoration and are valuable for studying Chongqing’s history and local culture.” Liu Bixiang said. Banan District has successfully renovated several traditional Chongqing buildings with Bayu style and Banan characteristics in recent years. It also builds a cultural tourism brand called “Baxian Ancient Courtyards.”

International students wear traditional Chinese wedding dress.

“We hope that more tourists will come to Banan, check out the ‘Baxian Ancient Courtyards’ and appreciate the beauty of traditional Chinese culture.” Wang Yongqiang, director of the Tourism Management Department of Sichuan International Studies University, a think tank expert for this event, said. He believes that the “Baxian Ancient Courtyards” represented by Peng’s Courtyard have high architectural, cultural, and historical values. It should be “reborn” through the integrated development of culture and tourism under the principle of “preservation first, revitalization and utilization” so that people can feel the rich history and warm nostalgic memories among the bricks and tiles of these ancient courtyards.


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