Ho-pien Village
Mount Wutai
Nan Hong Lin
Qinyuan Town


The Historic Walled City of Pingyao, Shanxi Province, China

A World Heritage Site, Pingyao is a city of 40,000 surrounded by walls built in the 14th century. A World Heritage Site, the city still contains many of the original buildings and wall sections, which provide a glimpse of life during the Ming and Quing Dynasties. Unfortunately we had limited time to spend at Pingyao - and it would take at least a day to fully explore its many treasures. 

The following is from

Pingyao is a Chinese city and county in central Shanxi province. It lies about 715 km from Beijing and 80 km from the provincial capital, Taiyuan. During the Qing Dynasty, Pingyao was a financial center of China. It is now renowned for its well-preserved ancient city wall, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Pingyao still retains its city layout from the Ming and Qing dynasties, conforming to a typical bagua pattern. More than 300 sites in or near the city have ancient ruins. Preserved Ming- and Qing-style residences number close to 4,000. The streets and storefronts still largely retain their historical appearance.

In the Spring and Autumn Period, the county belonged to the kingdom of Jin. It was part of the kingdom of Zhao in the Warring States Period. In the Qin Dynasty, it was known as Pingtao. During the Han Dynasty, it was known as Zhongdu county. In 1986, the People's Republic of China designated Pingyao as one of the Chinese Historic and Cultural Cities. It became a World Heritage Site in 1997, included also the outlying Zhenguo Temple and Shuanglin Temple.

The city walls of Pingyao were constructed in the 3rd year of the Hongwu Emperor (1370). The walls have six barbican gates, which  measure about 12 meters high, with a perimeter of 6,000 meters. Aside from the four structured towers at the four corners, there are also 72 watchtowers and more than 3,000 battlements. Most of the city walls are still largely intact and are considered among the best-preserved ancient city walls on this scale.

North Gate - The Walled City of Pingyao, Shanxi Province China  Street Scene in B&W - The Walled City of Pingyao, Shanxi Province China  Watch Tower - The Walled City of Pingyao, Shanxi Province China

Click below to view my impressions.  Most of the photos have also been posted to Flickr!   If you are a member of Flickr, I would appreciate any comments you might have and your vote for your favorites.

Most of the photos have also been posted to Flickr!   If you are a member of Flickr, I would appreciate any comments you might have and your vote for your favorites.

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Please note that all photographs and text appearing on this site are the exclusive intellectual property of Sam Stearman. No images are within the Public Domain, and no image use is permitted without the written prior authorization of the copyright owner.  If you see any pictures you would like to buy, all the thousands of pictures on this site are available in high resolution digital format, suitable for framing, use in magazines or advertising.  Email me if you would like to know more.



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