Unspoiled ancient villages

Updated: 2015-06-13 07:58

By Peng Yining and Shi Xiaofeng(China Daily)

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Unspoiled ancient villages

Zheng Pinfa, 70-year-old villager in Zhongcun, was washing clothes in a stream.[Photos by Peng Yining / China Daily]

Zhongcun village

On the edge of Zhongcun village, there is a stone arch bridge named "White cloud bridge". It was first built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and then repaired in the Qing Dynasty in 1890. It is about the same age as the village.

The stream is shallow and only 6 meters wide. But the bridge is 6.6 meters tall and 25.3 meters in length.

Compared with the village, the bridge is so tall and large, it hardly even looks like a bridge.

There is a story behind why the people of Zhongcun built such a big arch bridge.

In the east of the village, there is a mountain called Golden Ox Mountain, as it has a shape of an ox.

In the late Tang Dynasty, a feng shui master came to Zhongcun and found the ox's head was pointing to the East. He told villagers that the ox was leaving to chase the moon, which rises from the east.

The villagers were in panic as they believed the ox mountain brought them good harvest and fortune. So they came out with an idea of making a moon to attract the ox. They decided to build a big arch bridge. The arch and its reflection in the water would make a big round circle, which looked like a moon.

Although the story may not be true, Zhongcun village is famous for the bridge. Today, the village is home to nearly 2000 people. Located in the Simingshan mountain area in Zhejiang's Ningbo city, Zhongcun was given the title of city-level historical site and ancient village in 2012, by the Ningbo government. It also has one of Ningbo's oldest folk opera houses and ancestor memorial halls.