Xidi village lies in the east of Yi County, Huangshan City, Anhui Province. It’s about 54 kilometers away from Tunxi and 40 kilometers away from Huangshan Scenic Spot.
Xidi was originally known as Xichuan. Xidi village was built in Yuanfeng Year of Song Dynasty. Several years later, this place was renamed “Xidi”. Now in the village, there are 124 brick-wood buildings with neat layout and structure, beautiful decoration and deep cultural connotation, which belong to Ming and Qing Dynasties style. All of its features are rare to see in China. So Xidi village is known as “The Most Beautiful Village in the World” and “The Ancient Treasures of the Vernacular Architecture”.
Governor Huwenguang Archway: it is called Xidi Archway, which was built in AD 1578. The archway is 12.3 meters high and 9.95 meters wide. It is made of marbles. The whole archway is full of typical characteristic of Anhui. Its modeling grave is elegant and the carved stone technique is outstanding. Huwenguang Archway can be called the representative works of stone workshop of Ming Dynasty.
Beloved Hall: it is located in front of east river. The total area occupies 1,800 square meters with brick-wood structure of typical Hui-style architecture. This Hall is also the largest ancestral temple so far. The front door looks upswept. Entering the middle door, there is a worship hall. It divides into two courtyards. In the middle there is a big courtyard. Beloved Hall is a place to worship ancestor, educate offspring, gather patriarchal clans and hold various religious activities. In 1992, this Hall was rebuilt. And now Beloved Hall is being turned into “Xidi Folk Pavilion”.
Zhuimu Hall: it is located above the main road street. It was built in AD 1794, Qing Dynasty. Why built this Hall? The reason is that local people wanted to recall and memory the ancestor Hu so that the future generations would never forget the time how Lee and Hu knew each other. Zhuimu Hall’s roofs also look upswept. The gate of the Hall assumes eight glyphs. Around the Sanyuan Gate which is beneath the gate have some wooden fence. Bazi Wall (eight block wall) is formed by polishing and smoothing the Yixian marbles. It owns unique style and attractive spectacle.
Unprecedented Vegetarian: it was built during the Qing Dynasty. It is a typical Hui-style and courtyard-style private house. The brick, wood and stone carving in the vegetarian are kept well. In the front of the main hall places a large sand table which takes on the whole scenery of Xidi village. It vividly shows the entire layout and mountain landscapes of Xidi village.
Ruiyu Courtyard: it is located in the mouth of horizontal road. It was built in Xianfeng, Qing Dynasty. The courtyard is a representative Hui-style residential. Looking up and down, the overall seems to “commercial” shape. When people go across the courtyard, it forms a completed Chinese word “commercial”, which means “everyone can do business”.
Student Park: it is located in the center of Henglu Street. It was built in Xianfeng, Qing Dynasty. This park is composed of the main house and gardens. It belongs to Huizhou merchant Huyuanxi’s old house and is also the only building that owns dwelling house and book mansion. There are 12 carving planks beside the hall which is at the back of the garden. On these planks caved a composition “Tippler Pavilion”.
In addition, west garden and east garden, Yingfu Hall, Ren Hall, Shangde Hall, Farewell to House, Taoyuan Cave and so on are famous scenic spots.
Hongcun Village is located in the southeast of Huangshan Mountain. It is about 11 kilometers away from Yixian County. It was originally the access to city for the trade. The whole village occupies about 28 hectares. Among them, 19.11 hectares are defined as the scope of the ancient village area. Hongcun Village was built in Shaoxing year, southern Song Dynasty (AD 1131 – 1162). It has over 900 years of history.
The whole village’s layout looks like an ox shape. So this village is also called “Ox-shaped Village”. The upright Leigang Mountain is ox’s head; the verdant dark green old trees are ox’s horn; the building groups are ox’s body; the lakes are ox’s stomach; the bending artificial water channels are ox’s intestines; and four wooden bridges near the village are ox’s legs. Hongcun Village looks like an ox lying among the green trees.
There are many beautiful scenic spots in Hongcun Village.
Lexu Hall: it is also called Zhongjia Hall. It belongs to Wang Ancestral Hall, which is located in the middle of the river pond in the village. The Lexu Hall and the river pond were built at the same year – Yongle year, Ming Dynasty. This place has always been used to worship the ancestor and hold meetings. Lexu Hall consists of the Gatehouse, the main hall and the church.
South Lake: it is located the south of Hongcun Village. It was built in AD 1607, Ming Dynasty. This artificial lake occupies 20,000 hectares. The surface of lake has shown a “bow” shape. The lake dam which is at the back of the “bow” divides into two parts: upper and lower levels. The upper one is about 20 meters wide. It’s paved with stones and pebbles. The lower one plants some willow trees. At the spring of the “bow” builds South Lake College, Library and many ancient dwellings.
Chengzhi Hall: it belongs to the important provincial-level cultural relic. It is located in the middle of the waterway and was built in AD 1855, Xianfeng of Qing Dynasty. This hall belonged to Wangdingkun’s house, who was the richest salt merchant in the late of Qing Dynasty. Chengzhi Hall has a rational layout, perfect structure and facilities and excellent workmanship. The entire hall has seven floors and nine yards with more than 60 big and small rooms and 132 poles, decorated with extremely delicate objects – stone, brick and wood. Chengzhi Hall is the classic ancient dwelling in Wannan.
Green Park: it is near the waterway of Hongcun Village. It was built in the late of Ming Dynasty. After the destruction, it was rebuilt in AD 1825, Daoguang of Qing Dynasty. This park occupies 278 square meters and the building area occupies 256 square meters. Green Park belongs to one of the representative buildings that gather courtyards and rivers perfect.