Updated: 2014-10-24 07:25
Wars in ancient times prompted local residents in North China's Shanxi province to build castles to protect themselves. Many were established in the late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The rise of Shanxi merchants enhanced castles' popularity because some of the merchants thought that a castle would present a well-established image for their families.
Qinhe village is the biggest cluster of ancient castles in northern China. The essential part of it is located in Shanxi's Jincheng city and has 62 protected sites. Most castles were once occupied by government officials and were built near mountains. They feature walls with parapets and other facilities for military defense. More than 100 ancient scholars and prominent historical figures called such castles home.
(China Daily 10/24/2014 page22)
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