Pingyao Ancient City 平遥古城


Chinese Name: 平遥古城

English Name: Pingyao Ancient City; Ancient City of PingYao; PingYao

Location: Jinzhong, Shanxi

Type: Ancient culture and art

Rating Level: AAAAA (5A)

Website: 平遥古城-山西省文化和旅游资讯网-山西省文化和旅游厅 (

Pingyao Ancient City 平遥古城
Pingyao Ancient City 平遥古城

Brief Introduction

Located in Pingyao County, Jinzhong City, Shanxi Province, the Pingyao Ancient City 平遥古城 was built during the reign of King Xuan of Zhou 周宣王 and expanded in the third year of Ming Hongwu 洪武 (1370), with a history of more than 2,800 years. It also retains the basic style of the county town in the Ming and Qing dynasties and is the most complete ancient city in the Han ethnic 汉族 areas of China.

Pingyao Ancient City is known as one of the “Four Best-Preserved Ancient Cities” and is one of the only two ancient cities in China that have been successfully declared the entire ancient city as a World Cultural Heritage.

Pingyao Ancient City 平遥古城
Pingyao Ancient City map

In the development of Chinese history, Pingyao Ancient City shows people a complete picture of extraordinary cultural, social, economic, and religious development.

World Heritage Center said its urban fabric shows the evolution of architectural styles and town planning in Imperial China over five centuries. Of special interest are the imposing buildings associated with banking, for which Ping Yao was the major center for the whole of China in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Pingyao Ancient City 平遥古城
Aerial view of the Ancient City of Pingyao 航拍平遥古城

What are worth visiting and seeing?


Piaohao 票号 was a type of bank that existed in China during the Qing dynasty until approximately 1952. Rishengchang 日升昌 Piaohao was founded in the third year of Qing Daoguang (1823) by Li Dajin 李大金, a wealthy merchant in Pingyao, and co-founded with General Manager Lei Lutai 雷履泰.

Located in the south of Xidajie Road, a bustling street market in Pingyao County, the general number covers an area of more than 1600 square meters, with compact land and clear functions, which is the precedent of China’s national banking industry and once manipulated the economic lifeline of the entire Qing Dynasty in the nineteenth century. Its branches covered more than 30 cities across the country, as far as Europe, America, Southeast Asia, and other countries, and is known for “connecting the world”.

Pingyao Ancient City 平遥古城
Rishengchang 日升昌

Pingyao XianYa 县衙 is located in the center of Pingyao Ancient City, was built in the Northern Wei Dynasty, fixed in the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties, the earliest preserved building was built in the sixth year of the Yuan Dynasty (1346), with a history of more than 600 years. As one of the four ancient Xianya that have been preserved in China, Pingyao Xianya is also the largest Xianya in China. The entire building complex of the county is orderly, staggered, rationally structured, and is an organic whole.

Pingyao Ancient City 平遥古城
XianYa 县衙

The Pingyao city wall was built in the western King Xuan of Zhou (827 BC ~ 782 BC) as a rammed earth city wall. Ming Hongwu rebuilt it in the third year (1370) and changed the rammed earth city wall into a brick and stone city wall.

Pingyao Ancient City 平遥古城
Walls of Pingyao Ancient City 平遥古城墙

The quadrangle 四合院 is a kind of traditional Chinese courtyard building, its pattern is a courtyard built on four sides of the house, usually composed of the main room, the east and west wing rooms, and the inverted seat room, from the four sides of the courtyard enclosed in the middle, so the name of the courtyard.

Shanxi is one of the “nine frontier provinces” and has had frequent wars since ancient times. Large merchants pay special attention to the safety of their homes. Defensiveness is emphasized in Shanxi residences: the closed appearance of the courtyard shows the vigilance of the outside world, and the outer walls of the Courtyard of Shanxi Residential Buildings are all gray clear-water brick walls, with simple and single colors, and the appearance is high and closed. But the interior is beautifully gorgeous. Although the houses are unified but not monotonous, rich but not messy, and delicate but not trivial.

Pingyao Ancient City 平遥古城
The quadrangle 四合院

Folklore activities

The dry boat 旱船 is made of bamboo strips, wooden strips, and colored silk woven into a colorful boat, surrounded by satin, and the surface is covered with wooden strips and satin. The performance is accompanied by drumming music, and one person plays a woman in a boat, using a ribbon to tie the boat on the shoulder, and the false foot is coiled in the “boat” as if walking in a boat. The other man, dressed as a boatman, paddled in front of him with an oar.

Pingyao Ancient City 平遥古城
Pingyao Ancient City 平遥古城

The Taige 抬阁 is to fix the iron rod to the upper end of the lifting pole, decorate the surrounding of the pole with various props such as lotus flowers and colorful clouds, and then fix three or four male and female children who play various dramatic characters and mythological stories on the iron pole, carried by adult men, and perform in the march.

Pingyao Ancient City 平遥古城
Taige 抬阁

Ancient City of Pingyao, Shanxi, China

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