11 September 2015

#969 China

The Old Town of Lijiang (simplified Chinese丽江古城traditional Chinese麗江古城pinyinLìjiāng Gǔchéng) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Lijiang CityYunnanChina.

The town has a history going back more than 1,000 years and was once a confluence for trade along the "Old Tea Horse Caravan Trail". The Dayan Old town is famous for its orderly system of waterways and bridges, a system fast becoming but a memory as the underground water table drops, probably due to over-building in the suburban areas.

Lijiang's culture combines traditional Nakhi culture and incongruous elements learned from Ming dynasty Han Chinese traders who settled in the region centuries ago. Nakhi people have kept alive a timber and mud brick housing style which they learned from Nanjing traders. Local carpenters still build elaborately constructed timber house frames from memory without blueprints or other diagrams. These houses are often enhanced by detailed flower and bird carvings on the windows. The carvings are now made by ethnic Bai artisans, but attention is given to depicting the flora and fauna of the four seasons in the traditional Han Chinese manner. Even impoverished farming families gather their resources to install carved windows, and seem to consider them more important than furniture for the house. The window panels are available for sale to tourists.

Date of Inscription on the List of UNESCO WHS: 1997

Thank you, Sun !

Sent on: August 7, 2015
Received on: September 11, 2015

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