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Chongren ancient town preserves rich heritage through meticulous restoration

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: April 25, 2024 L M S

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Dragon and lion dances staged in Chongren ancient town on Wednesday. [Photo by Jiang Dong/China Daily]

Chongren ancient town, nestled in Shengzhou, Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, stands as a beacon for the preservation of ancient architecture, setting a commendable example in safeguarding historical buildings.

Encompassing a sprawling 30-hectare expanse in the northwest of Shengzhou, the town boasts a wealth of cultural heritage sites, comprising architectural complexes, temples, ancestral halls, and ancient wells dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) up to the early 20th century.

Wang Xinjun, director of the Shengzhou Cultural Relics Protection Center, highlighted the comprehensive restoration initiative undertaken since 2012, spanning four phases aimed at reviving the ancient buildings.

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An old building in the town. [Photo provided to China Daily]

As the fourth phase nears completion, Wang emphasized the meticulous approach to preserving the original features of the structures while addressing safety concerns, ensuring that the historical essence of the buildings remains intact.

Local engagement plays a pivotal role in safeguarding these sites, with each ancient complex, now housing multiple households, appointing a group leader recommended by the community. These leaders oversee sanitation and identify potential threats to the buildings, fostering a sense of collective responsibility for their preservation.

With a rich history spanning over 1,300 years, Chongren ancient town not only boasts a treasure trove of old buildings but also showcases traditional cultural elements such as the revered Yueju Opera and the captivating dragon dance.