Historical and Cultural Significance of Longxing Ancient Town

Longxing Ancient Town

Introduction and Thesis Statement

Landmarks are historical and cultural structures built to serve a specific purpose and to impress people. They are also defined as structures build to identify a place. It is important for a country, a city or a town to have its own landmark because a landmark is always associated with the location where it is situated.[1] A landmark offers a lot of benefits to the town in which it is located. It serves to provide historical and cultural significance to the country, city or town where it is located.

With a historical and cultural landmark, a given town is able to identify itself to a given historic period or event, a given cultural heritage, or some given tradition or customs. This enhances the pride and value of the city or town.[2] As a result, the city or town gains additional benefits such as tourist attraction and economic development of the town or city. In this regard, every city and town should maintain its historical landmarks because they offer great historical and cultural significance.

Longxing Ancient Town is one of the famous landmarks of Chongqing, China. It has a long history of over 600 years and provides significant cultural heritage to the local communities, the city and China at large.[3] Longxing Ancient town is a well known tourist destination governing two communities and 21 administrative villages.[4] The town has a lot of restaurants, hotels, public transport, economic markets, office buildings, streets and various tourist attractions. The landmark is also a popular ancient town which has several traditional customs, cultural features, and artistic works; makes it a famous tourist destination for local and foreign tourists in Chongqing City.

Therefore, the historical and cultural significance of Longxing Ancient Town is that it enhances the preservation of the historical features, customs, and traditions of Chongqing town, and it provides high tourism value, value of appreciating art, and deep cultural heritage.[5]

Description of Longxing Ancient Town

Location and Historical background

Longxing ancient Town has a long history of prestige and attractiveness; an exceptional historical landmark with a great contribution to the Global Chinese City. Its history alone makes local Chinese and foreign tourists to visit it. People visit this landmark to read and see the ancient economic practices, traditions and culture of the town. This enables them to understand history in order to shape the future of Chongqing and other Global Chinese Cities.

Dated back to over 600 years ago, Longxing Ancient town stands out as one of the oldest landmarks in the history of Chongqing in particular and China in general. Records from the landmark indicate that it started as early as the transition period of Yuan and Ming Dynasty which existing more than 600 years ago.[6] Small bazaars opened in that period, and during the Qing dynasty, the boom of commodity economy began.

Longxing Ancient Town is located to the South East of Yubei district of Chongqing, within the jurisdiction of Jiangbei. It is located about 36 kilometers away from the centre of Chongqing. It covers the entire hill zone of Bayu and the Jiangbei Hall.[7] The town is famous for the protection and development of issues related to Longxing Ghuzhen for a very long period of its entire existence. It also preserves traditional architecture of the Qing dynasty which existed more than 600 years ago. In 2005, Longxing Ancient Town won the National Historical and Cultural Towns Award for its exceptional way of protecting and developing ancient traditions and customs of Longxing.

Many of the ancient attractions have been kept and they are still in good condition; making the Global Chinese City of Chongqing a pleasant city where everyone across the globe is willing to visit. All around the town, the streets are covered with bluestone. Walking along such streets is by itself a source of pleasure for local and foreign visitors and a source of pride for the residents of the town.

Major Attractions and their historical and cultural significance

The heart of Longxing Ancient Town’s profound history is based on its wide range of attractions which stretch far and wide. These attractions indicate the historical and cultural significance of Longxing Ancient Town. Walking along the bluestone streets, one can see various attractions which speak well of the town’s long history.[8] Most of the attractions are preserved from as early as the birth of the town more than 600 years ago; and they still stand strong and beautiful.

One of the attractions located in the ancient town is Huaxia Zongci (ancestral hall). An image of this structure is given in appendix 1. Historically, this hall was regarded as the rich people’s ancestral hall. Later, the hall was rebuilt and used as a shrine for ancestors of the Hundred Surnames. At the entrance of the hall, there is a big gold Chinese Character “gen” which means the root (Meiya Travel, 2014). This indicates that the ancestors are the root of our lives, or in this case, the root of the lives of Longxing residents. This shows that Longxing Ancient Town has a great historical significance.

To give a greater historical significance of the town, two statues of Yan emperor and Huang emperor as well as the statues of 107 ancestral surnames are displayed in the hall. Furthermore, the hall has about 200 family trees. With these numerous ancestral statues, the hall provides rich historical information about the town of Longxing and the entire Chongqing city.

Visitors going to Huaxia Zongci can look for their roots and origin because the statues with 107 surnames can enable somebody to trace his/her ancestral lineage. Furthermore, more than 200 family trees in the ancestral hall can be used by visitors to trace their roots. This gives someone a sense of identity and belonging. Indeed, Huaxi Zongci located in Longxing Ancient town is a good historical classroom where people can learn about Chinese history in a practical and more realistic manner.

Another attraction that has a historical significance is the Courtyard of Liu Family. Historically, this was the original residential house of rich man Liu Dengji who was a landlord and a salesman. The courtyard occupies a land of 1,800 square meters. The courtyard has a long history because it was built in the Daoguang years of Qing Dynasty, within the same century that Lingxong Ancient Town originally started. The Courtyard of Liu Family has a 12-metres high fireproof wall around the courtyard (Meiya Travel, 2014).

The Courtyard of Liu Family in the Longxing Ancient Town is one of the most famous landlord dwelling places in the history of Chongqing. It is a complete residential house that evokes historical understanding of land ownership.[9] The courtyard is used by visitors and the locals to learn about the history of landlords and tenants. It is an important place to find historical information about residential houses of the historical ancient Longxing. Therefore, it is also an historically significant site.

Another attraction in Longxing Ancient town is Longcang Temple. Longcang is a Chinese word which means hiding a dragon (Meiya Travel, 2014). In ancient Chinese context, a dragon is a symbol of the emperor. The temple was named in relation to the story of Zhu Yunwen. Yunwen was an emperor of the Ming Dynasty who was forced into the temple to drive away dangers after Zhu Di seized the throne. Therefore, the name Longcang means hiding Emperor Zhu Yunwen.

Longcang Temple has several wood and stone carvings which exist in different styles and carry different themes.[10] The figures engraved in these carving are clear and exquisite; hence providing information to the viewers about the history or Longxing Ancient Town.

Longcang Temple has both historical and cultural significance. The history of the temple and the emperor can be derived from various sources within the temple. The temple itself beginning with its symbolic name enables visitors to reflect on the historical emperorship of Longxing Ancient Town. The historical significance of the temple as a hiding place for the ancient emperors also provides historic lessons on the ancient emperors. Furthermore, it is a good source of historic information about the importance of the temple to emperors.

In terms of cultural significance, Longcang Temple displays artistic works to illustrate the culture and traditions of Longxing Ancient Town.[11] The stone and wood carvings in the temple illustrate that the culture of the town was characterised by artworks. Furthermore, the concept of hiding a dragon which means hiding the emperor reflects a cultural aspect and tradition of emperor’s throne seizure and succession, and the cultural role of the temple as a hiding place for emperors.

Another attraction in Longxing Ancient Town is Yulin River. This attraction has a historical connection with Emperor Zhu Yunwen in Ming Dynasty. The word Yulin in the Chinese language refers to the emperor going to a place. When the emperor escaped to the Longcang Temple, he passed through Yulin River on a horse. This was the origin of the name Yulin River.

The river has a pavilion with flying eaves.[12] The green water gives an attractive reflection of the pavilion and willows. This gives Yulin River a good appearance. Therefore, visitors to the river get a tranquil and relaxing team. Yulin River maintains tourist culture in Longxing Ancient Town which has brought the world tourists into Chongqing City, making it one of the Chinese Global cities. The Yulin River attracts a lot of tourists. It also maintains the history of Longxing Ancient Town because the theme of associated the river with ancient Emperor Zhu Yunwen takes people back into a long history in the past.

Cultural Significance of Longxing Ancient Town

Longxing Ancient Town is popularly known for rich cultural heritage, traditions and customs of the Chinese people. The ancient town appreciates culture and achieves tourism value from its artistic work. Culture is not only seen through the traditional practices of its people, but also through its attraction sites which reflect a true picture of the town’s traditions and customs as well as culture.

Longxing Town has a history of 600 years with rich cultural heritage and profound architecture.[13] The landmark also has a lot of talented cultural people. Historically, Longxing Ancient town has a total of 200 cultural celebrities who keep Chinese culture alive in Longxing Ancient Town.

This indicates that the Global Chinese City of Chongqing is a good source of Chinese traditions, Longxing Ancient Town being one of the leading cultural landmarks. The town’s biggest cultural achievement is that it preserves culture from the ancient Qing dynasty. Preserving and maintaining a culture of 600 years ago is a great step for Longxing Ancient Town to maintain its cultural heritage.[14] One of the positive consequences of this cultural heritage is the influx of tourists from within China and other parts of the world. The cultural heritage of the town also gives the town prestige and pride.

Among the many cultural practices associated with Longxing Ancient Town, Waist drum performances are commonly showcased in the major cultural sites of the city. Chuan Operas are also performed by some cultural actors in the historical landmark. These practices have been there for a very long time in the history of Longxing Ancient town and they are still preserved in the town to maintain Chongqing’s cultural heritage.

Buildings with Bayu characters also demonstrate the richness of Chinese culture in the ancient town of Longxine. Furthermore, Longxing Ancient Town has a Bayu Culture Museum which is used to preserve and display the culture of the ancient Chinese communities. In the museum, there are three exhibition halls which display agricultural tools and nine beds engraved in the style and pattern of the ancient Qing Dynasty’s fork artworks.

The agricultural tools in the city show the agricultural life of the ancient Bayu people, and compares with the advanced wood carvings of the local people.[15] The fork artworks also inform viewers about the traditional culture of the ancient Qing Dynasty. This indicates that Longxing Ancient Town has great cultural significance. This has attracted tourists and contributed significantly to the development of Chongqing as one of the greatest Global Chinese Towns.


Indeed, Longxing Ancient Town is a culturally and historically significant landmark in Chongqing City. The landmark has several cultural and traditional customs and practices preserved from the ancient Qing Dynasty. For instance, the culture of the Bayu community is still preserved inside Bayu Fork Culture Museum in Longxing Ancient Town. This preserved culture has led to enhanced cultural heritage that attracts tourists and visitors across the globe. This has built Chongqing into a global city in China.

Attractions such as Huaxia Zongci, the Longcang Temple, Courtyard of Liu Family, and the Yulin River are important historical sites which have preserved the historical stories of ancient dynasties. This enables visitors of the town to learn the history of China in a practical and realistic manner. The attractions are also attractive and pleasant; hence attracting visitors from all over the world. This has resulted in the building of the Global Chinese City of Chongqing.

[1] Goldstein, B.B. 2012. The Importance of Landmarks, Ezine Articles, Accessed April 26, 2014 from http://EzineArticles.com/7281257.

[2] Goldstein, 2012.

[3] Chongqing Tourism Administration. 2013. Chongqing Service Guide on 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit tourists. Chongqing: Chongqing Tourism Administration.

[4] China Daily. 2014. Longxing Ancient Town. Accessed April 26, 2014 from http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/regional/chongqing/liangjiang/2014-01/06/content_17208079.htm

[5] Century Diamond Cruise. 2011. Longxing Ancient Town. Accessed April 26, 2014 from http://centurydiamondcruise.com/category/cities-along-yangtze-river-cruise/

[6] Chongqing Tourism Administration. 2013.

[7] Century Diamond Cruise. 2011.

[8] China Daily. 2014.

[9] Meiya Travel. 2014. Longxing Ancient Town. Accessed April 26, 2014 from http://www.meiyatravel.com/Guide/11949.aspx

[10] China Daily. 2014.

[11] Meiya Travel. 2014.

[12] Meiya Travel. 2014.

[13] Wang, Q. 2011. Chinese Architecture. New Work: Better Link Press.

[14] Surhone, L.M., Timpledon, M.T. and Marseken, S.F. 2010. Longxing Monastery. VDM Publishing.

[15] Donglan, H. 2005. Shrines of Yue Fei: Spaces for Creation of Public Memory. Chinese Sociology & Anthropology, 37(3): 74-112.

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