Dazhuangke Township, Remembrance of the Guishui River (II)

  • offcial website of Beijing Expo 2019  2017-Sep-15 13:19:41

Ancient Stone Cave Temples and Carved Stone Cultural Relics Sites

Stone lions, immovable cultural heritage relics, are located in Dazhuangke Township.

Located on a hillside slope 1.8 kilometers southeast of Dazhuangke Village, Dazhuangke Township, the stone lions face Bailong Pool to the south and border Changchi Road to the west. Its geographic coordinates are east longitude 116°14′15.7″ and north latitude 40°25′09.4″ and it has an elevation of 482 meters.

The stone lions were carved during the Ming Dynasty. The stone lions are made of glutenite, are square in shape and unique in design. They both squat on the ground. Their heads are roughly square in shape and their mouths are wide open and round in shape. They gaze ahead, with short necks and curvy manes reaching their shoulders, as well as three bells on their bosoms, front legs carved in perspective and a square pedestal beneath. The front left legs were all damaged and have since been repaired with cement. The east lion measures 0.55 meters in height, 0.33 meters in width, 0.4 meters in thickness and 1.16 meters in neck circumference. The west lion measures 0.59 meters in height, 0.34 meters in width, 0.4 meters in thickness and 1.2 meters in neck circumference.

These two stone lions are the most unique in shape ever found in Yanqing.

Early and Recent Modern Era Cultural Relics

In Dazhuangke Township, there are five early and recent modern era relics of great historical significance and typical architecture of immovable relics, accounting for 35.7% of the Township’s immovable relics. They include two traditional Chinese medicine events and figures, two tombs for martyrs and one agricultural facility site. Of them, there are two under District-level protection, accounting for 40% of the total. All are located in mountainous areas and are therefore under weaker human influence.

North Beiping Sanatorium Site

Located in a valley about two kilometers to the west of Cheling Village, Dazhuangke Township, the North Beiping Sanatorium Site is surrounded by mountains on four sides and is connected to the outside world by mountain roads to the east and west. To the north, south and west of the site lie ditches, called the North Ditch, South Ditch and Macao Ditch, respectively. Its geographic coordinates are east longitude 116°11′47.3″ and north latitude 40°22′47.7″ and it has an elevation of 629 meters.

In January 1940, the Joint County of Changping and Yanqing was established at Pipshi. Additionally, the Joint County of Changping and Yanqing and the Nanshan Revolutionary Base was created. Later on, Zhang Dezheng and his nephew transformed their houses into a sanatorium for wounded personnel. The Zhang family help a great many wounded personnel from the Eighth Route Army and in a Japanese raid, the Zhangs and five wounded Eighth Route Army soldiers were killed.

The North Beiping Sanatorium Site occupies an area of about 500 square meters. The east court was occupied by Zhang Yuanman and his family, with three north rooms and two side rooms each to the east and west. The west court is the home of Zhang Deyuan and his family. It has three north rooms and two west side rooms. The principal room of the east and west courts is about 9 meters wide and about 3 meters deep. The architectural area is about 130 square meters. Near the western wall of the west court is a set of stone rollers. The houses of the two courtyards have all collapsed, with broken walls buried deep in wild grasses. In 1985, the North Beiping Sanatorium Site was designated one of Yanqing’s first District-level relics under protection.

Bailongtan Monument to Revolutionary Martyrs

The Bailongtan Monument to Revolutionary Martyrs is situated 1.8 kilometers southeast of Dazhuangke Village, Dazhuangke Township. Its geographic coordinates are east longitude 116°14′15.7″ and north latitude 40°25′09.4″ and it has an elevation of 482 meters.

Located on a hillside slope, the monument, surrounded by luxuriant forests, faces Bailongtan or Bailong Pool in the south and borders Changchi Road to the west. Before the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Dazhuangke Township was the center of the Joint County of Changping and Yanqing and served as a frontier against enemies’ strongholds. During the Anti-Japanese War, the people of Dazhuangke fought with the Eighth Route Army and left behind moving stories. In years of fierce battles, local people sacrificed to fight enemies, with villages being destroyed and people being killed or wounded. The Dazhuangke Township government in July 1988 set up this monument to commemorate the villagers who sacrificed their lives in the fight against the enemies’ strongholds in the former Joint County of Changping and Yanqing and inspire later generations.

The monument is a square prism with a cap. The monument measures 2.7 meters in height, 0.75 meters in width and 0.55  meters in thickness. The base measures 1.5 meters in height, 0.9 meters in width, 1.31 meters in thickness and 0.54 meters in height. A 0.50-meter high rail enclosed the monument. The monument, built using bricks, stones and cement, has great historical significance. In 1995, it was named a District-level relics site.

North Beiping Sanatorium’s Supplies Cave

The cave surrounded by forests on four sides and located 240 meters southeast of the sanatorium is connected to the outside world via mountain roads. Its geographic coordinates are east longitude 116°11′53.4″ and north latitude 40°22′41.3″ and it has an elevation of 672 meters.

The cave is situated on a hillside slope halfway up the south side of Sidaogou Ridge. It is a naturally formed cave that was used to hide wounded personnel, pharmaceuticals, food and other supplies. The entrance to the cave was built using large stones and the passage leading into the cave is so narrow that people need to crawl to get inside. However, the inside of the cave is spacious, with a natural skylight through which sunlight can enter. The cave, easy to hold but hard to attack, was ideal for hiding wounded personnel. According to local villagers, Zhang Dezheng and the other five wounded Eighth Route Army soldiers were subjected to brutal torture in interrogation, but refused to disclose the location of the cave. In the end, they died martyrs’ deaths. However, the cave was later discovered by Japanese troops and their Chinese puppet armies. They raided the cave and killed all inside. The identities of those killed remains unknown.

The Cheling Village Monument to and Graves of Revolutionary Martyrs

The Cheling Village Monument to and Graves of Revolutionary Martyrs are located in Xishangou, Cheling Village, Dazhuangke Township. Its geographic coordinates are east longitude 116°12′13.7″ and north latitude 40°22′57.1″ and it has an elevation of 764 meters.

The monument was made using cement, with “People’s Heroes Alive Forever in the Mind of the People”, and “Young Pioneers of the Yanqing Primary School”, as well as other texts, inscribed on the front. The monument measures 79 centimeters in height, 39.5 centimeters in width and 5 centimeters in thickness. The Grave of Martyr Zheng Dezheng is located one kilometer away in Xishangou. Zhang Dezheng and his nephew were ordinary villagers in Dazhuangke Township. They helped the Eighth Route Army in the anti-Japanese war and turned their houses into a North Beiping Sanatorium for wounded personnel. They also served as a point of contact with the Eighth Route Army. According to local villagers, Zhang Dezheng and five wounded Eighth Route Army soldiers were betrayed and captured by the Japanese troops. To press them for information about the whereabouts of the Eighth Route Army troops, the Japanese whipped and beat them, ground them with stone rollers and filled their throats with hot pepper water. Despite the excruciating torture, they refused to give up any information. They were eventually killed by their torturers. The Young Pioneers of Yanqing Primary School set up the monument to commemorate Zhang Dezhang and the five Eighth Route Army soldiers.

Ammonia Tanks at Piposhi

The ammonia tanks are located to the northeast of Pishipo Village, Dazhuangke Township and border village roads to the west and north and residential areas to the east and north. Its geographic coordinates are east longitude 116°11′09.8″ and north latitude 40°23′52.7″ and it has an elevation of 568 meters.

The ammonia tanks were barrel-shaped cement structures built to hold ammonia. Before China's reform and opening up, ammonia was one of most commonly used fertilizers in northern China. In the early 1980s, it was still widely used until it was completely phased out in recent years. The part above the ground is 2.32 meters high and 3.17 meters across. The opening, square in shape, with a side about 0.4 meters in length, is located on the north side of the tank’s top. On the outer surface of the west side are written nine lime-colored Chinese characters, which read “To endeavor to learn from Da Zhai”, reflecting the then-national drive to learn from the practices of Da Zhai in the course of development.

Other Types of Cultural Relics

In Dazhuangke Township, there are two ancient immovable heritage relics of other types, accounting for 15% of the Township’s immovable heritage relics. All of them are natural landscapes. Piposhi, or Pipo Stone, which is under District-level protection, is loved by literati because of its unique features. Such literati have attributed cultural significance and meaning to it. It cannot be determined when the two stones came into being. Though located in mountainous areas, they are both under government and civilian protection and are therefore in good shape.

Piposhi or Pipo Stone

Located in the north of Piposhi Village, Dazhuangke Township, Piposhi or Pipo Stone borders a road to the east, leading into the village. The stone is surrounded by pines and cypresses. Its geographic coordinates are east longitude 116°11′07.7″ and north latitude 40°23′53.4″ and it has an elevation of 569 meters.

The stone was naturally formed, standing 8.2 meters in height and about 14 meters in width. It is divided into three giant parts. A flight of 32 slab steps leads up the Piposhi. An east-to-west fissure has formed in the middle of the giant stone, out of which a tea tree with dense leaves grows. On the top of the stone is a Zhenwu Temple, which blends in well with the stone. It has preservation value. In 2006, the County government funded a renovation project to repair the temple. The County’s cultural committee undertook the project.

In 1982, Zhang Zilin and other people carved a poem titled An Ode to Stone Peak on the south side of the stone and inscribed Pi Po Shi on the east side. In 1993, the stone was put under District-level protection.

Bailongtan or Bailong Pool

Located 1.9 kilometers southeast of Dazhuangke Village, Dazhuangke Township, the pool is a naturally formed landscape. The pool, surrounded on four sides, borders Chichang Road to the west and south. Its geographic coordinates are east longitude 116°14′18.0″ and north latitude 40°25′07.6″ and it has an elevation of 455 meters.

According to local traditions, originally, a black dragon inhabited the pool. Later, a white dragon came to start a war over territory with the black one. The white dragon prevailed and occupied the pool. Thus, it was named Bailong Pool or White Dragon Pool. Originally, there was a White Dragon Temple to the southwest of the pool. The temple has long since collapsed. What remains of the temple is only its foundation and ancient trees.

The Bailong Pool is like a giant oval stone basin. Water flows into the pool from mountain creeks. The pool’s water is limpid and flows year round. The Dazhuangke Township Government dredged the pool in a landscaping project in July 2010. At the time of dredging, the pool’s water was found to be much deeper than expected. A larger digger was later used. To the surprise of everyone, after the dredging, the pool was like a round jar embedded in the center of a giant granite rock, with an oval opening and smooth walls from which a person would be unable to climb out by hand. Measurements show that the pool is 20 meters wide at its widest point and 18 meters deep at its deepest point. The entire pool is composed of hard granite. This pool greatly intrigued the experts.

There were different theories proposed for the formation of the Bailong Pool. The two most typical ones are the “moulin theory” and the “pothole theory”. The “moulin theory” was proposed by Han Tonglin, known as “the father of China’s moulin”, who believed that the Bailong Pool was the result of erosion by melting waters from glaciers in the early quaternary ice age two million years ago. The “pothole theory” was proposed by Zhang Yuxu, editorial director of Geological Review, who said that the pool was a result of flood washing.

(Source: Remembrance of the Guishui River)

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