By Xinyi Li, EDITOR
The result of the first Movable Cultural Relics Census of Chongqing in 2017 indicates that there were 165 state-owned collection units of this city, preserving 1,482,489 pieces (470,234 pieces/set) of registered cultural relics. The number of the newly-discovered and newly-identified was 155,576, and there were 915,479 photos of cultural relics, with the total data capacity of 2,584G.
In the latest National Cultural Relics Census, Chongqing recorded 25,908 sites of immovable cultural relics, which is 200.9% of the amount identified in the 2nd nationwide census. Specifically, there were 17,244 sites of newly-discovered and 8,664 sites of reviewed ones. The number of newly-recorded ones represents 66.6% of the total.
Chongqing has 55 national chief cultural relics protection units, only followed Beijing among the four municipalities.
In 1362, Ming Yuzhen built the capital of the rebel Empire of Xia (or Great Xia) in Chongqing, becoming the only one emperor in Chongqing’s history. When his imperial mausoleum was discovered at Jiangbeizui, people may ask where the palace is. Fortunately, experts, after years of archaeological researches, found that it was right located in the historic site of the old drum tower, Wanglongmen, Yuzhong District.
The buildings of the Bazi State stretch along the Yangtze River to the horizon where the water and sky meets; the city walls were built with the natural conditions and boasted outstanding craftsmanship. Chongqing enjoys nature-endowed beauty due to the harmonious co-existence of landscapes and residences, brought by its environment-friendly way of construction.
Since 2009, with the implementation of the 3rd National Cultural Relics Census and the promotion of the old city reconstruction of the lower regions in Yuzhong District, people found the wall ruins with the Renhe Gate, Taiping Gate, and Chaotian Gate in succession. The remarkable discoveries include the Military Commission Department and Chongqing Administrative Office Building — the command center of the west stand of the Southern Song against the invading Mongol Yuan Dynasty, the imperial palace of Ming Yuzhen at the drum tower site, and the largest watchtower in China’s archaeology history. All of them demonstrate that during the five centuries from the Southern Song Dynasty to the Qianlong’s reign in the Qing Dynasty, the mother city of Chongqing once existed in the form of a large scale administrative complex, covering over 200,000 square meters. It was also the political center of the greater Chongqing area at that time.
If the drum tower site is a witness of the over 500 years of history of Chongqing, Taiping Gate, together with other 16 gates along the ancient wall, should bear the imprints of life of this city. The old city of Chongqing was built on the base of the ancient Bazi State. After the four rounds of large-scale construction in the periods of the Warring States period, Shu Han, Southern Song Dynasty, and the early Ming Dynasty, the 17 gates opened or closed in alternate arrangement had gradually taken shape.
The wall ruins include those of the periods of the Southern Song, Ming, and Qing Dynasties, the gate (the barbican included ) and fort barbette, which is in costly types and distinctive characteristics. They are collectively called the “living fossil” of Chongqing’s history, for the physical reference they provide for studying the urban spatial arrangement changes and the development of China’s ancient cities.
The above-introduced ancient administrative building and walls are just a small part of the delicate buildings left by the ancestors. And on the extensive land of Chongqing, many other witnesses are telling stories of its history.
In the latest National Cultural Relics Census, Chongqing recorded 25,908 sites of immovable cultural relics, with 17,244 newly-discovered ones and 8,664 reviewed sites. The number of newly-discovered sites accounts for 66.6% of the total registered amount.
Afterward, the National Cultural Heritage Administration held the selection of the Top 100 New Discoveries in the 3rd National Cultural Relics Census. The site of the administrative office building in the old drum tower, Yuzhong District, the former site of the Military Affairs Commission of the Nationalist Government, the 816 Nuclear Military Plant in Fuling, and the Hongxing Overflow Bridge in Nantuo Town won the honor.
In the 7th batch of the national key cultural relics protection units issued by the State Council in March 2013, Chongqing has 35 new ones, including People’s Liberation Monument and Chongqing People’s Auditorium. The growth rate of 180% ranks the second nationwide. Until now, Chongqing has 55 national key cultural relics protection units, ranking only second to Beijing among the four municipalities. Moreover, the cultural preservation achievements of Chongqing have risen to a new high with over 11 districts and counties, including Wanzhou, Jiangjin, Wuxi, and Shizhu, proudly announced their first ones.
The profoundness of Chongqing’s history lies in the ancient rammed walls, and the movable cultural relics in museums and collection units reproduce the history in another colorful and vivid way.
Source: Chongqing Morning News