Houzhou
 
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Huozhou, a County-Level City of Linfen Prefecture, Shanxi Province, China

Huozhou is a county-level city between the cities of Lingshi and Linfen in the prefecture of Linfen. The population of Huozhou has risen to more than 100,000 inhabitants in the course of the early years of the 21st century.

Huozhou is the home of the Houzhou Bureau, first built in the Tang Dynasty in 1304. The large building compound, which covers 38,500 square meters, is one of the best maintained historic sites in all of China and was recognized as a National Cultural Site by China’s State Council in 1996.  The Great Hall, built 100 years before Beijing’s Imperial Palace, is a marvelous example of Yuan Dynasty architecture and has been well preserved over the centuries. Located inside the main gate, the Great Hall is flanked on both the east and west sides by side buildings. The compound also includes an inner gate, two halls and inner apartments.

Houzhou Bureau has served as the home of Marshal Yu Chigong during the Tang Dynasty, as a temporary royal home of the King during the Yuan Dynasty and as a state level bureau and ceremonial meeting place for local government during the Ming and Qing Dynasties.  Both Emperor Kang Xi and the Empress Dowager Ci Xi have stayed during visits to Houzhou.

Shoe Cobbler, Houzhou, Shanxi Province China  The Great Hall and Gate of Houzhou Bureau, National Cultural Site, Shanxi Province, China  Inner Gate and Great Hall - Houzhou Bureau, a Tang Dynasty National Cultural Site, Shanxi Province, China

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