Dazhuangke Township, Remembrance of the Guishui River (I)

  • offcial website of Beijing Expo 2019  2017-Sep-15 13:04:52

An Overview of Dazhuangke Township

Located in the southeastern mountainous area of Yanqing, Dazhuangke Township borders Huangcheng Town of Huairong District to the southeast, Changling Town to the south and Jiangzhuang and Yongning towns to the west and north. The seat of the Dazhuangke Township’s government is 38 kilometers away from downtown Yanqing, where the District’s government is located, and 74 kilometers from downtown Beijing.

A Liao Dynasty iron mill site in the Huaijiu River drainage area in Dazhuangke Township is the best preserved ancient iron mill site with the largest number of relevant relics in Beijing. Known as “the real precursor to Shougang Corporation”, the iron mill demonstrates the prosperity of the Dazhuangke region during the Liao Dynasty. The Dakezhuang section of the Great Wall is as great as the Badaling section. The villages of Dazhuangke were mostly established during the Qing Dynasty. During the anti-Japanese war, the puppet North China government controlled by the Japanese put the Dazhuangke region under the administration of the Changping County of the North China puppet Government. In 1938, the Eighth Route Army established the joint government of Changping, Yanqing and Huairou in Dongsancha Village. In 1940, it established the Joint County of Changping and Yanqing in Pipshi Village, the first joint county government in the North Beiping anti-Japanese base. In 1945, the joint county was abolished and the county of Yanqing was restored. In 1953, a village government was established to govern Tielu, Cimuchuan, Dongsancha, Dazhuangke and Hanjiachuan. In 1958, they were put under the administration of the Dongfeng People’s Commune. In 1961, the Dazhuangke People’s Commune was established and in 1983 it was reclassified as a township. Dazhuangke Township has an area of 126.57 square kilometers, which was further divided into 29 administrative villages.

According to statistics from previous archaeological surveys and for the purpose of this book, a total of 14 locations in Dazhuangke Township with historical and cultural value are covered in this book. They include one ancient relics site, four ancient buildings, and one stone-caved temple with stone inscriptions. There is another site that is under the protection of the local Yanqing District government’s relics protection office and thus not covered herein. There are five places of historical significance and buildings from the early and recent modern era and an additional two places of other types.

Ancient Cultural Relics Sites

An ancient iron mill site, an immovable cultural heritage site, is located at Shuiquangou Village in Dazhuangke Township.

The site is located in the two-level flat land to the north, middle and south of the Shuiquangou Village, where the Hanjiachuan River and Dazhuangke River meet. Surrounded by mountains, the site is part of the west end of the Yanshan subsidence zone on an uplift area with granite peak-forests. Its geographic coordinates are east longitude 116°15′04.3″ and north latitude 40°24′52.1″ and it has an elevation of 481 meters.

More than 10 iron mill sites are located at Shuiquangou Village. Seven of them are measurable. At others, only partial foundations remain. Some other furnaces are well preserved. The furnaces are shaped in irregular cylinders. The ruins of No. 2 furnace are 1.5 meters high. Its external diameter is 1.55 meters, its internal diameter is 1.2 meters and the furnace wall is 0.35 meters in thickness. It consists of stones and refractory bricks.

Ancient Building Relics Sites

In Dazhuangke Township, there are four ancient immovable heritage relics, accounting for 31% of the Township’s immovable heritage relics. These sites are composed of altars, temples and ancestral halls. Of them, there are two under District-level protection, accounting for 50% of the total. The Buddhist temple at Dongjiagou was built during the Ming Dynasty and its main hall was restored in 2007. The other three temples were all built during the Qing Dynasty. Except for the Eight Immortals Temple in Lianhua Mountain, each of the other three are located in the village and are therefore under stronger human influence.

The Eight Immortals Temple in Lianhua Mountain

The Eight Immortals Temple is located 2.2 kilometers northeast of Hanjiachuan Village, deep in the Lianhua Mountain. Its geographic coordinates are east longitude 116°16′35.1″ and north latitude 40°26′43.4″ and it has an elevation of 742 meters.

The temple, a three-section compound, was built during the Qing Dynasty. The main hall faces east. The front width is 3.5 meters, the depth is 2.9 meters and the height is 1.6 meters. The temple has an architectural area of 10.2 square meters. With a roof covered in gray tube tiles, the building has a hard gable top, a main ridge, cement floors, decorated peripheral columns and partitions with four boards.

The main hall is divided into two levels, with the lower level consisting of granite slabs. The front width is 3.7 meters, with a depth of 3.1 meters. The front has a vaulted gate, with a black stone tablet on it, upon which is an inscription of hui xian tai, or a platform where immortals meet. A sitting statute of the Jade Emperor, the Supreme Deity of Taoism, is enshrined in the main hall. On the upper level of the stone hall is a small wood hall. As seen in the remains, the two-level hui xian tai should be higher than the existing building and similar in size to the first level. The current one is the result of a restoration project. The front width is 4.6 meters, its depth is 3.5 meters and its height is 3.1 meters. The temple has an architectural area of 16.1 square meters.

It has side rooms on both the south and north sides. The north side room has a roof covered in gray tube tiles and the south side room has a roof covered in tiles with their concaves facing upward. The temple has a hard gable top, a main ridge, cement floors, decorated front peripheral columns and partitions with four boards. The front width is 3.3 meters, its depth is 3.1 meters and its height is 2 meters. The temple has an architectural area of 10.2 square meters.

The front width of the south room is 6.8 meters, its depth is 4.5 meters and its height is 2.3 meters. The temple has an architectural area of 31 square meters. It has a roof covered in tiles with their concaves facing upward, a hard gable, a main ridge and cement floors. The front peripheral columns are decorated and its partitions each have four boards. The north side room is the same in style as the south one.

The gable-side front width is 2.1 meters, the depth is 1.2 meters and the height is 2.5 meters. The temple has an architectural area of 2.5 square meters. It has a roof covered in gray tube tiles, a hard gable top, a plain ridge, a platform foundation consisting of stone slabs, two-level S-shaped steps and a two-part wood door.

It is said that the Eight Immortals were originally enshrined in the side rooms. The Eight Immortals can be classified into upper, middle and lower levels. However, in folklore, the Eight Immortals are the middle ones that have formed in traditions since the Ming Dynasty: Tieguai Li, Han Zhongli, Zhang Guolao, Lan Caihe, He Xiangu, Lü Dongbin, Han Xiangzi and Cao Guojiu. According to traditions in Dazhangke, Hanjiachuan Village is the hometown of Han Zhongli. Therefore, the Eight Immortals Temple is also known locally as Zhongli Temple.

Dongjiagou Buddhist Temple

Located in the south of Dongjiagou Village in Dazhuangke Township, the Dongjiagou Buddhist Temple borders a south-north street to the east. Its geographic coordinates are east longitude 116°10′59.4″ and north latitude 40°25′24.4″″ and it has an elevation of 664 meters.

According to the inscription on a tablet recording the merits and achievements stored in the temple, the temple was first used in the Ming Dynasty as an Amitabha Temple. In the Daoguang reign of the Qing Dynasty, it underwent renovation, and has not undergone any major changes since. It faces south and is rectangular in shape. It has east and west side rooms and a gate opens in the gable side wall.

The front width is 8.6 meters, the depth is 8.0 meters and the height is 2.9 meters. The temple has an architectural area of 68.8 square meters. With a roof covered in gray tube tiles, the building has a hard gable top, a main ridge, local-style paintings, cement floors, stone corner columns, a brick platform and four-level drooping belt stone steps. It has hypostyle columns that are decorated, the outer room has a four-part partition and the inner room has a two-part sill window. Inside the temple, the niche for a Buddha statue has a top enclosure. The original wood slab supporting the crossbeam had a color Eight Diagrams pattern, while the 5-purlin beams had flying golden dragons patterns. However, they were all covered with new paintings later on. The temple has short columns with brackets, round columns and stone plinths. On the gable front are carved deer, kylins and other exquisite auspicious animals, which have great value for preservation.

On the gable wall inside the hall is painted a Dragon King, the God of Rain in Chinese mythology, who starts and ends rain. On the upper part of the east gable wall are painted five immortals who respectively ride red, yellow, black, cyan and white dragon dragons, putting clouds in the sky and bringing rain. The officers of the Year, Month, Day and Hour exercise their power, while the Gods of Wind and Thunder cheer nearby. A Four-Eyed God (Cang Jie or Lu Ban, according to local traditions), who holds a Buddhist musical instrument and stands in the clouds, is at the forefront. On the lower part are painted farmers who collect their plows before the rain comes, animals who run for cover and pedestrians who hurry along the road. On the upper part of the west gable wall is painted sunshine after rain, auspicious clouds and immortals and officers who collect their instruments. The Four-Eyed God puts his carpenter's rules in his arms. On the lower part are painted joyous celebrations at a wedding ceremony and farmers ready to plow their land.

Three rooms wide and five purlins deep, the east and west rooms are the same in design. The front width is 9.5 meters, the depth is 5.4 meters and the height is 2.5 meters. They each have an architectural area of 51.3 square meters. They have roofs covered in tiles with their concaves facing upward, a hard gable, a plain ridge, herringbone stone slab floors and a brick stylobate. They have front peripheral columns that are decorated, an outer room with a door and a window and an inner room with a removable window.

The gable door has no purlins. One room wide, the front width is 2.4 meters, the depth is 2.1 meters and the height is 2.6 meters. The temple has an architectural area of 5 square meters. With a roof covered in gray tube tiles, the building has a hard gable top, a main ridge, cement floors, an ashlar stylobate, 12-level drooping belt stone steps and a two-part wood panel door.

The temple has a granite tablet with an inscription recording merits and achievements in legible texts. The monument measures 1.3 meters in height, 0.66 meters in width and 0.18 meters in thickness. The pedestal measures 0.48 meters in height, 0.8 meters in width and 0.44 meters in thickness. The inscription starts with the title Merits and Achievements of Previous Generations and ends with Written by Hu Kun, a Confucianist scholar of Yanqing, Written in Red Ink for Stone Inscriptions by Meng Shaobo, a village scholar of Yanqing, erected by Abbot Monk Ben Cheng with his disciple Jue Li in the summer of the Eighth Year (1882) of the Guangxu Reign of the Qing Dynasty.

Jinggou Mountain God Temple

Located in the southeast of Jinggou Village in Dazhuangke Township, the Jinggou Mountain God Temple borders a village road to the west and has cultivated land on the other three sides. On this land grow fruit trees and luxuriant forests. Its geographic coordinates are east longitude 116°10′05.3″ and north latitude 40°24′31.3″ and it has an elevation of 562 meters.

The earliest available records of Mountain God are found in Shan Hai Jing, or Mountains-Seas Book. In Tai Ping Guang Ji, or Extensive Records of the Taiping Era, are also found stories about Da Yu, who put Shang Zhang in prison, and Dou Lu. Wu Zang Shan Jing, an ancient picture book, even describes in detail what the Mountain Gods look like. The worshipping system is extremely complex with each major mountain peak inhabited by a personified god.

Built during the Qing Dynasty, Jinggou Mountain God Temple is a small Qing-style temple facing south. The front width is 3.4 meters, the depth 3.5 meters and the height is 2.2 meters. The temple has an architectural area of 11.9 square meters. It has a roof covered in gray tube tiles, a hard gable top, a water ridge and an ashlar stylobate. The temple, in front of which an ancient elm is planted, has decorated peripheral columns, wooden doors and sill windows.

In the early years of the People’s Republic of China, the temple was used to house to a school and later vacated. Local villagers made donations to repair the temple after it had been seriously damaged.

Jinggou Dragon King Temple

Located to the east of Jinggou Village in Dazhuangke Township, the Jinggou Dragon King Temple borders a village road to the west and wilderness on the other three sides. Its geographic coordinates are east longitude 116°10′03.1″ and north latitude 40°24′35.0″ and it has an elevation of 573 meters.

Built during the late Qing Dynasty, it is a small Qing-style temple facing south. Six purlins deep with a front corridor, the  front width is 4 meters, the depth is 6.2 meters and the height is 2.4 meters. The temple has an architectural area of 25 square meters. With a roof covered in gray tube tiles, the building has a hard gable top, a main ridge and stone slab floors without decoration. An ancient elm is planted in front of the temple.

The Dragon King Temple with fruit trees planted on four sides was once used to house a school has since been vacated. Local villagers made donations to repair the temple that had been seriously damaged.

 

(Source: Remembrance of the Guishui River)

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