History of Jielingkou, Classical Village in Qinhuangdao
Reporters: Wang Jiangang, Li Huiwen, Sun Bing, Wang Hao, Li Jianglong, Zhang Na, Funing TV channel, Haigangqu TV channel
Introduction: In search of the treasure left by time and history. This is the serial report, “I love my hometown - generous gifts from history”. Jielingkou, located between Funing District and Qinglong County, lying beside the Great Wall, is a village built in Tang Dynasty. After more than 1000 years of social and natural changes, it is well preserved, which includes the walls, the old roads and more than 10 ancient buildings like the Green Tile House. It is the only Qinhuangdao village which is listed on the most famous villages in Hebei, and it was also entered on the list of Chinese most famous traditional villages in 2014. Today, “I love my hometown - generous gifts from history”, we will take you into Jielingkou village to have a taste of its ancient charm.
Li Huiwen: To enter the Jielingkou Village, you will pass through this ancient gate, which is the main entrance. It’s over 5-meter high. Walking in the mottled masonry doorway is like traveling through a tunnel of time and space, which leads us to explore the rise and fall of the ancient village.
Main text: According to the History of Funing County, the history of Jielingkou Village can be traced back to the Tianyou period of Tang Dynasty in the early 10th century. A group of immigrants who moved from Shandong province settled here. Yang Sumei, deputy director of the Cultural Relics Protection Institute, said that because the village is located in the traffic route between Liaodong and Jingdong, and it is the important commercial and trade gateway between the Central China and the Mongolian desert. So it is very vital in geological position. In the Hongwu period of the Ming Dynasty (in 1381), the Ming government began to build the borders here which became an important pass for “external control of Liaozuo and internal protection of the Jingling”.
Yang Sumei, deputy director of the Cultural Relics Protection Institute: In the meantime, the Ming government reformed the original building on the open ground, built two barbicans on the east and the west end, and connected them in order to station the military force and to defend against foreign enemies from the Inner Mongolian desert.
Main text: In the middle and late years of Ming Dynasty, the raging fire along the Great Wall have not ceased for a day. The Jielingkou pass alone had witnessed hundreds of battles. At the time of the Ming Dynasty, there were 450 officers and soldiers stationed at Jielingkou pass, along with 320 weapons. The number of troops and the level of equipment were the highest in the 32 Great Wall passes between Shanhaiguan and Beijing.
After hundreds of years of offense and defence, war and peace, under the erosion of time, the west barbican and the middle city of Jielingkou have been destroyed and become ruins, but the east barbican is basically preserved. It has changed from military fort to a village --- that is what we are talking about: the village of Jielingkou.
Main text:Viewed from the sky, built in the boundary of the castle in Jielingkou village, the city's residential buildings and roads still follow the layout of the nine directions of war, i.e. three horizontal and three vertical lines, and everything is in its place.
Yang Sumei, deputy director of the Cultural Relics Protection Institute: The layout of the 9 lines, which are in all directions, were in this place. In this castle, there was an army stationed here to watch the enemy. When the war broke out, the soldiers could quickly rush from different directions to the Great Wall. Then they got out of the pass without congestion.
This old street has a history of more than 200 years old. In the past, it was the most popular commercial street in the village, with shops standing along both sides. It was a very famous commodity distribution centre along the Great Wall of East Beijing.
With the Great Wall, the old castle and the old streets, it seems to have returned to a time hundreds of years ago. This unique historical and cultural brand has attracted many tourists.
Zhang Yusheng, tourist: I was told by others that there is the ancient Great Wall and ancient well here in Jielingkou. I heard that this is also a tranquil mountain village. I especially took my old father here to walk around.
Main text: However, due to years of disrepair and poor living conditions, in Jielingkou, the number of residents in the green tiles houses is less than half of the original population.
Zhang Jin, director of the Jielingkou Village Committee of Funing District: We counted that there are 80 old houses, the earliest of which dates back to 200 or 300 years ago. Many of the old houses were abandoned.
Main text: As a result, a number of modern dwellings were completed in the village, forming a huge contrast of style with the ancient dwellings. There was an inconsistency between the staggers. The collision between the traditional and modern concepts made the villagers unsettled. However, as Jielingkou Village was successively rated as a provincial “historical and cultural village” and “Chinese traditional village”, the villagers began to find a match between tradition and modernity.
Li Huiwen, reporter: Sir, how old is this building?
Wan Fengnian, Villager of Jielingkou: More than 200 years old.
Li Huiwen, reporter: You are still living here, right?
Wan Fengnian, Villager of Jielingkou: Yes, I am.
Li Huiwen, reporter: Why do you keep repairing it and keep it in good condition?
Wan Fengnian, villager of Jielingkou: The house is left by my ancestors, so I am still willing to preserve it. This is also my cultural heritage. In the future, let the country say it is also the legacy of the country. I will always be willing to preserve it.
Main text: Being aware of the importance of the ancient village protection, the villagers not only begin to protect and repair the old houses, but also to develop detailed protection and development plans in the village.
Zhang Jin, director of the Jielingkou Village Committee of Funing District: Outside the village, a modern new residential building should be built to transform people's living environment. The history of the ancient village and the history of more than 1000 years, including the Ming Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty, should be demonstrated by the village itself. It would be lead those visitors to reflect upon the profound value of history and culture, and help ensure the villagers’ income so that they can enjoy life in a up-to-date house outside.
Li Huiwen, reporter: As a main tourist city, Qinhuangdao is abundant in natural resources such as mountains and seas, as well as cultural resources such as passes and the Great Wall. However, there are not many traditional villages like Jielingkou to awaken your nostalgia. We should pursue tourism development in Jielingkou Village with a protective measure, and build it into another must-see for the four-season tourism of Qinhuangdao, enriching the tourism reputation of Qinhuangdao.