Dayanzhen, the Ancient
Town of Lijiang
county town of Lijiang is also called Dayanzhen, famous for
its scientific architectural layout. Crisscrossed by crystal-clear
rivers and meandering cobbled streets, it has a high research
value and is a treasure in the field of urban construction
Lijiang Town was built at the
end of the Song Dynasty and the beginning of the
Yuan Dynasty, leaning on the Lion Mountain in
the west and Xiangmian Mountain in the north.
Surrounded by green trees, it looks like a big
ink stone. Hence its name Dayan which means a
big ink stone. The town has the Sifang (Square)
Street as the centre, with radiating lanes arranged
in good order, and three rivulets ( the east,
the middle and the west) running through the town.
Thus is formed the unique aspect of an ancient
town of "every house being surrounded by
a stream, and willows upon willows making it surpass
the south of the Yangtze." The streets are
paved with variegated stones, which make them
neither muddy in the rainy season nor dusty in
the dry season. In addition, a downpour which
washes the dirt away reveals the gleaming variegated
drain of the paving stone.
ancient town is also famous for having no walls. It is said
that the hereditary ruler of Lijiang used to be surnamed Mu,
to have Mu encased with a frame or a wall would be Kun, which
means in Chinese siege or predicament. That is why the town
has had no walls, and the graceful surrounding mountains serve
as such instead.
The ancient town looks unsophisticated
and picturesque, having both the benefit of a
watery and a mountainous environment, thus gaining
renown from both domestic and foreign tourists.
A professor of Shanghai's Tongji University praised
it for being "an epitome of the splendid
Chinese national tradition in terms of architectural
style and disposition."