Guichuan Jade Pearl,Ancient Town Cultures (Part One)

  • offcial website of Beijing Expo 2019 2016-06-06 10:04:28

Cultural Center

Yongning was rendered in the culture of literacy and simple manners with plenty of academic high-flyers. “Those who have claimed success at the Imperial Examination are greeted by dancing sunbeams and spring breezes. They bring honor to their ancestors”. In Ming and Qing Dynasties, numerous scholars, licentiates, and others who had claimed successes at the Imperial Examination had brought credit to their families. The saying “Nanhu, Beinie, Dongzhao, Xichi, Hanbancheng”, all of whom from illustrious families in Yongning Town, made the rounds among the populace. Once hung on the gate of the family Hu in Nanjie in Yongning Town were two signboards: “Jiu Shi Gong Yuan” and “Shi Dai Wen Kui”, brought an illustrious reputation to the family. “Scholars are esteemed noble with knowledge; commoners are esteemed decent with discipline”. The local customs, passed down over generations, were virtually endless.

In the 14th year of Daoguang Emperor of Qing (A.D. 1834), Hu Xianda collected funds to have the free school raised to Jinshan Academy. The Academy was based in Zuowei Hutong in Yongning Town, with four gold-plated characters in regular style “Jin Shan Shu Yuan” inscribed on the signboard right above the front gate. The stones in front of the door buttress were carved with characters in small seal script. The right one is read “Ji Ju Fen Dian”, while the left one is read “Yi Ji Qun Ying”. The Academy had one Shanzhang (school master), one teacher, one laborer, several presidents and a loose number of school children. After a three-year period of study, the students would take the local test in the governmental office of Xuanhua. Those who qualified, the scholars, would be spare of conscription taxes and land taxes. Jinshan Academy, with rigorous atmosphere, was a place of admiration for people in and around Yongning.

In the years of the Republic, the setting up of Yongning Women’s School blazed a trail for girls in the area go to school. After the founding of new China, Yongning was making advances in various types of education. The setting up of Xianxue, Weixue (both referring to local schools) and Jinshan Academy left behind a rich cultural bank for Yongning. To this day, the atmosphere of antiquity still lingers.

Ancient Town with a New Lease of Life

Today’s Yongning is where the Township Government of Yongning located. With local sensibilities which are dense and simple, the town is expecting its guests. An outing in spring to explore the culture of ancient temples gets one a feel for history. Taking an environmental friendly ride in summer to enjoy the landscape helps cooling off. Reaching a high spot in autumn to admire the red leaves and pick fruits and vegetables exudes a genuine delight. With tofu, Huoshao and Babaxi in winter, the “Farmhouse Banquets” quite give an appetite.

“From Nanjing to Beijing, Yongning’s Tofu is not to pass”. The saying was famous beyond the border in Ming and Qing Dynasties. In recent years, the “Yongning Town Bean Products Manufacturing and Marketing Association” is organized. The trademark of “Yongning Ancient Town Tofu” was registered. “Dou Xiang Xuan”, the only state-owned enterprise in Yanqing specializing in Tofu Feast, is formed. With “Yongning Ancient Town Tofu Feast” and “All Tofu Feast”, Dou Xiang Xuan goes on great lengths to create the brand of Yongning Tofu Feast. Now, “Yongning Ancient Town Tofu” has transformed from an insignificant dish to a household name in Beijing. “Yellow when laying on the board, the tofu radiates with vitality. Sliced open with a knife, the texture is delicate. When served, it just melts in your mouth.” This folk ditty of Yanqing paints a vivid picture of the unique quality of Yongning tofu.

Beijing Xiadu Guiyuan Bean Products Technology Development Co., Ltd., with the magical “Tofu’s” touch, has made the industry more prosperous. They zero in on the market, and make scientific decisions. By cooperating with manufacturers, the company distributes high quality Yongning Suanjiang tofu to a number of supermarkets in Beijing for the convenience of people. The company’s frozen tofu is credited by Beijing Donglaishun Restaurant Chain and diners.

Development pattern featuring “One Town, One Garden, Two Valleys, and Three Belts” of Yongning, an “ancient town of historic, economic, ecological and cultural significances”, has taken shape. Focusing on featured ancient town of Ming and Qing Dynasties, Yongning, by constructing the processing and demonstration base of agricultural by-products in the eastern mountains, develops green industry; By developing natural scenery, experience agriculture, characteristic industries, the company has built the Donggou agricultural experience area, the recreation and healthcare bar in Qinglongtan Scenic Area and two casual fruit picking valleys. The company has erected the vegetable industry belt, modern pig breeding industry belt and rural tourism industrial belt.

Scrolls of paintings are unfolding themselves. The ancient town Yongning in Guichuan, which is discovering the key element in its splendid bank of history, is intently safeguarding the spiritual garden of static beauty.

Yongning Catholic Church

The Catholic Church, which is located in Fumin Street, Yongning Town, Yanqing County, became a Key Cultural Relics Protection Unit of Beijing in 2001. The church was built during the reign of Emperor Qianlong of Qing. In the 26th year of Emperor Guangxu (A.D. 1900), it was burnt down by the Boxer. In the 28th year of Emperor Guangxu, it was rebuilt.

The church comprises the main south gate, the main church and wing-rooms. With total construction area of 750m2 and 416m2 of the main church, it is a kind of Gothic Revival architecture. The church, both splendid and imposing, keeps the European architectural style, meanwhile is putting into traditional Chinese architectural elements. It is the biggest modern church built with the largest magnitude in the suburb of Beijing.

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