The ancient city CiCheng locates at the north of Cixi, and west of Ningbo city center. It keeps many ancient constructions. Some of the houses have been changed into the family hotels. Spending some nights here, touching the history and culture through the constructions, patterns, teas, you can experience the quite and slow life style.
The Liang&Zhu Culture Park(Chinese:宁波梁祝文化公园) locates at the south of Ningbo city, Zhejiang province. The park is is a love theme park, the birthplace of Liang&Zhu’s story. People often take Liang&Zhu as eastern ‘Romeo and Juliet’.
Here is the brief story of them.
Liang is the man, Zhu is a lady. In their time, lady is not allowed to go out to the school, so Zhu dressed the man’s clothes and pretended to be a man to the school, she met Liang and fell in love with him. However, Liang is a stupid man and could not realize that Zhu is a lady, though he liked Zhu. When they departed, Zhu asked Liang to marry her younger sister ‘little ninthsister’, and Liang could not realize that sister is actually Zhu herself. When they departed, there’s a famous paragraph of Shaoxin opera called ‘See Zhu off for Eighteen times’, pretty funny at that time. But, after Zhu back home, she was committed to marry another man by her father. She went to death on the wedding day. Later, stupid Liang came to Zhu’s home to ask her family to marry ‘Little ninth sister’ with him, got known that Zhu was died, and Zhu was a lady in fact. Imagine the poor man, recalled all the words and reactions of Zhu, once he thought Zhu did not follow the ruls, spoke strangely, then he realized how she wanted to reveal the veils, how he kept blind to the love heart, so he went to her tomb and put himself death too. Later two butterflies flied out from the tomb, it’s said these butterflies were Liang&Zhu’s new life. Now they can stay together.
From this story, we can get a piece of Golden law that clear communication and expression are two Indispensable factors of love affair. How fortunately that ladies can go to school freely in China, and still there’re women can not go out for education publicly in some countries in the world.
Share your comments and spread your ideas.
There are many ancient towns south of the Yangtze River. Some are commercialized replicas, with neon lights illuminating historic pagodas. Some are authentic, or at least partially authentic, having been rebuilt several times in the span of hundreds of years.
Qiantong Ancient Town(Chinese:前童古镇) is an authentic experience. It originated in the 13th century and comprises more than 1,300 traditional-style houses, most of them built in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.
The town was sited and laid out according to the ancient principles of fengshui, or geomancy, to take advantage of positive energy and the natural environment. The town is octagon-shaped — eight being an auspicious number in Chinese philosophy. A stream encircling the center of town provides water for household laundry and vegetable washing today as it did in the past.
Some of the residences are quite grand, with courtyards and cobblestone paths in elaborate patterns. Many weathered beams overhead still bear the intricate carvings of yesteryear.
A short walk from Yuehu Park will take you to Ningbo’s most famous landmark: Tianyige Library. As the oldest private library in China, it has stood in the city center for more than 450 years, passing from generation to generation after it was built by Fan Qin, a vice minister of war in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The two-story wooden structure was the blueprint for royal libraries, including the one in the Forbidden City built in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The historic library’s books have been moved to a nearby modern facility for better protection, but you can still have a look at the building itself, feeling the contrast between its ancient appearance and how surprisingly well it protected its books for centuries. If you are a fan of mahjong, there is a mahjong museum next to the library, explaining the history and development of the most popular board game in China.
Tianyige(Chinese: 天一阁) Library , the largest private library in China, got its name from “I Ching,” or the “Book of Changes.” According to this classic book of yin and yang, which may date back to the second millennium BC, a combination of “tian” (sky) and “yi” (one) gives birth to water.
This magical name has protected the library and its books from fire for more than 400 years.
Before the trip, I’d heard a lot about Tianyige, such as it’s the oldest private library in China and has more than 300,000 historical books.
However, the building itself was quite different from what I’d imagined — a modest two-story wooden structure.
From its appearance, it could be taken for an ordinary residence of a big family.
The library pavilion was built in 1561 as a private study for Fan Qin, who served as secretary of defense during Emperor Jiajing’s reign in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It was not uncommon for ancient Chinese scholars to possess private libraries. Books were a sign of wealth and cultural status, and Fan was an avid collector.
The Fan family adopted a discipline that no one in the family was allowed to claim any of the books as personal property, and books were prohibited from being taken out of the pavilion. The collection today is the most extensive accumulation of information on the education, economic development, literary and revolutionary history of Ningbo.
Tianyige Museum, which includes the library, a living area and the garden of the Fan family, covers over 31,000 square meters. Some of the rooms have been transformed into exhibition halls, where ancient Chinese manuscripts are available for public viewing. The garden itself is worth a visit. Its traditional style provides tranquil solace for all who walk there.
The modern museum is now home to around 300,000 volumes — and rising. With high-tech temperature and humidity control equipment and huge modern shelves, these historic books are finally safe.
One third of the books are already digitalized so book lovers can flip through the yellowed pages on the museum’s website without touching the actual volume.
Located in the city of Ningbo, Zhejiang province, Tian Yi Ge Museum is China’s oldest private library existing today. It is also Asia’s oldest library.
The construction of Tian Yi Ge, started in 1561 and finished in 1586, was led by Fan Qing, a government official during the mid-Ming Dynasty.
Fan Qing loved collecting ancient books. After receiving the collection from Wanjuan Tower in Jin County, he had a total collection of more than 70,000 books. In 1772, Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty ordered the compilation of the Si Ku Quan Shu (Complete Library in the Four Branches of Literature) to be made. Fan Maozhu, a descendant of Fan Qing, contributed 638 books.
Although there are many book collectors, not so many of them can preserve their collections for more than 100 years. The reason why Fan’s collection is still preserved to this day is closely related to his way of management. One of the early rules of Tian Yi Ge was that no one outside the Fan family should be admitted into the library, keeping it unknown from the outside word. It was not until 1673 that Huang Zongxi, a great philosopher and historian, became the first “outsider” to have the privilege of going into the library and reading the many books in the collection. After the visit, Huang listed the books, which were not circulated in society, and wrote an article documenting his visit to the library.
Cixi houses many Yue Kiln Sites, which are widely regarded as one of the origin of Chinese porcelain.
Cixi has the tradition of advocating culture and emphasizing education, with several thousand years of historical relics and profound cultural background which cultivated three regional cultures, i.e. “celadon, reclamation and immigration”.
Shanglinhu celadon has been sold overseas as a “Maritime Silk Road” to the world, historical tideland reclamation area has become one of the areas with the most abundant land reserve resources in Zhejiang Province, and the immigration culture has long history as well.
Celadon in Cixi started from Han dynasty to Song dynasty. In two centuries from late Tand dynasty to Song dynasty, celadon was prosperous in Cixi which made cixi a China capital。There is Tang poem for the time: “九秋风露越窑开，夺得千峰翠色来”, which sing a high praise of the celadon。
Yue Kiln with Shanglin Lake celadon as the representative were sold to Sri Lanka,India and Spain in Tang dynasty, shipping from Mingzhou port (current Ningbo port).
The history of reclaiming land from the sea in Cixi can be traced back to 10th century. Written record of building pond on a large scale started from 1047, Song dynasty, with total length of 80 kilometers, completed after 340 years, which was a huge project consuming a tremendous amount of work.
In 600 years after that, people continued to build New-Tang(塘, pond), Eight -Tang, Nine-Tang, Ten-Tang, in some area Eleven-Tang was built,the shoreline was pushed to north accordingly.
New and old dykes of 480 km were built totally, making the farm from the sea. Currently there is a shoreline of 70 km in Cixi.
Early residents lived along the mountains, immigrated to the eastern and northern along with the sea pond building.
In Ming dynasty, there were about 5000 solders assigned from Fujian province to protect Cixi and later stayed as residents. Most of people in Guanhaiwei town are their descendants. ，In 210 B.C., Xufu led a team of 3000 boys and girls with 5000 sailors and workers, went to Japan for the Always Young and live medicine for Qin Shi Huang(First Emperor of Qin) from a port which locates in Cixi. It’s said that some of the Japanese are descendants of this team, for example, the former Japanese Primary Minister 羽田孜 said that his family is the descendant of Xufu. In Japanese, the letter “秦” pronounce the same as the letters “羽田”.
Population records in Cixi started from Song dynasty, 156380 in total. It increased to 249225 in Qing dynasty, 521706 in 1954, 1008000 in 2004, 10436000 in 2013.
As a coastal open city, migrant population in Cixi is also big, the number of recorded migrants is 976100 in 2012. Migrants makes cixi a fully inclusive and equitable city.
The three kinds of cultures mingled together to set up Cixi humanistic spirit of innovation, openness & honesty, and win-win cooperation, which has created a good environment for the development of Cixi education. Cixi has become the first batch of powerful educational city in Zhejiang Province, Through exploring diversified school-running ways and promoting school-running by social power, the number and scale of private schools are all leading domestically. Cixi was listed as the “demonstration base for community digital learning in the national city and countryside” by the Ministry of Education in 2010 and 2011.
Cixi City locates on the south of the economic circle of Yangtze River Delta, which is the most promising area for future development. Being the anchor of the Shanghai, Hangzhou and Ningbo Economic Golden Triangle, Cixi is 60 km (37 mi) from Ningbo in the east, 148 km (92 mi) from Shanghai in the north and 138 km (86 mi) from Hangzhou in the west. Cixi has a subtropical monsoon climate, with an average annual temperature of 16℃. With the emphasis on the city’s infrastructure, Cixi has an effective public transportation system that provides convenience.
Highway: Roads within the city lead to all directions and there is 1.5-hour drive to Hangzhou, 1-hour drive to Ningbo, and 1.5-hour drive to Shanghai. The red line in the figure indicates the Hangzhouwan Bridge over the East sea.
Airvation: Within an 1.5 hour transport circle are the four major airports: Ningbo Lishe International Airport, Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, Shanghai Hongqiao Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
Water Transport: Within a radius of 150 kilometer, there are two international ports: the port of Shanghai and the port of Ningbo.
Cixi is a city with a rich culture and a long history. It was part of the state of Yue in the Spring and Autumn period (770-476 B.C.). The county was set up in the Qin Dynasty. At first it was called “Juzhang” and has been using the name of “Cixi” since the Kaiyuan reign of the Tang Dynasty (738 A.D.).
After the adjusting of administrative areas in 1954, current city border of Cixi is combined by the northern parts of original Cixi, Yuyao and Zhen Hai xian, so it’s called SanBei (Chinese: 三北, pinyin: sān beǐ, which means “the three north”). It became a satellite city repealing county system and setting up city system in 1988.