Longli Ancient City – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

longli ancient city

Longli Ancient City (隆里古城), originally established as a military fortress by Zhu Zhen, the sixth son of Ming Emperor Taizu Zhu Yuanzhang, underwent a transformation during the Qing Dynasty, renaming it “Longli” with the connotation of “the place of prosperity and abundance.” This quaint town, nestled in the heart of Guizhou Province, is characterized by its petite size, featuring two streets forming a crossroads that connect the four city gates facing east, south, west, and north.

Initially settled by migrants from the central plains and southern Jiangnan provinces, who stationed here as military personnel before integrating into the local community, Longli stands out as the only town in southeastern Guizhou inhabited exclusively by Han Chinese. The town’s lifestyle, architecture, and customs retain a rich tapestry of ancient Han culture, showcasing a blend of architectural styles reminiscent of Beijing’s courtyard houses, the delicacy of Jiangnan’s water towns, the configuration of Jiangxi’s traditional residences, and the indigenous Miao and Dong ethnic groups’ stilted houses.

Legend has it that the renowned Tang Dynasty poet Wang Changling once sought refuge in Longli. The descendants of Longli have held a deep sympathy for Wang Changling’s life experiences and a profound reverence for his knowledge. In commemoration, structures such as the “Zhuangyuan Tomb,” “Zhuangyuan Bridge,” and “Zhuangyuan Pavilion” were constructed at the foot of Longbiao Mountain and along the Longxi River, serving as everlasting monuments to this cultural luminary.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of TourHalf a day
Ticket PriceFree. Need to pay extra price for the attractions
Opening Hours24 hours a day throughout the year
Telephone Number0086-0855-7180228

Location and Transportation

Longli Ancient Town is situated along the southwestern border of Jinping County in the Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture of Guizhou Province, China. It is located 64 kilometers southwest of the county seat and 21 kilometers from the Jinping County branch airport. Additionally, the town is 23 kilometers away from the Natural Bridge Scenic Spot in Liping County. To get to Longli Ancient City, you can choose one of the following ways:

  1. From Liping (Optimal Transit Point):
    • Take a scheduled bus from Liping (黎平) to Aoshi (敖市). Buses operate from 7:00 to 18:00, with one departure every 25 minutes.
    • Upon reaching Aoshi, transfer to a minibus heading to Jinping County (锦屏县), passing through Longli. The minibusses operate at a frequency of approximately one every 30 minutes and cost 3 yuan per person.
  2. From Jinping:
    • Direct transportation is available from Jinping to Longli. Minibusses operate daily from 7:30 to 17:00, with one departure approximately every 30 minutes.

Highlights of Longli Ancient City

Ancient City Walls

ancient city walls in longli ancient city

Longli Ancient City is approximately rectangular, measuring 217 meters in width from north to south and 222 meters in length from east to west. The city walls, initially constructed with rammed earth, underwent a transformation in the first year of Tianshun (1457), where they were reinforced with egg-shaped stones. With a circumference of 1500 meters, the walls stand at a height of 5 meters, complemented by a 3-meter deep moat surrounding the city. Each cardinal direction features a defensive artillery platform. Four city gates are strategically positioned – the east gate, known as Qingyang Gate or Xumen, is adorned with a three-story watchtower. It primarily served as the entrance for officials and military personnel. The south gate, Zhongyang Gate, and the west gate, Ying’en Gate, not only feature two-story watchtowers but also incorporate inner and outer city gates. The northern gate is crowned with a temple atop the city tower, dedicated to the worship of Bodhisattvas for peace. The city walls also host a running track, and atop the walls are “sky lantern seats” for message transmission.

City Layout

city layout of longli ancient city

The internal layout of Longli Ancient City, meticulously designed and constructed to meet military needs, has retained its original form for over 600 years. Functioning as both a military fortress and a civilian settlement, the city features over 20 streets paved with cobblestones, forming charming patterns. The city’s layout revolves around the former site of the Qianhu Office, with three main streets extending to the east, west, and south. These streets intersect in a “T” rather than a traditional crossroads for military purpose. The city gates follow a structure resembling a “walled city,” enhancing security. Essential buildings, including administrative offices, face north and are intricately linked to the city’s defense system.

Ancient Ancestral Halls

ancient ancestral halls in longli ancient city

Longli Ancient City is adorned with ancestral halls that showcase the architectural styles of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Built during the Qing Dynasty, these ancestral halls serve as cultural and historical treasures. Among them are five well-preserved halls: Jiang Family Ancestral Hall, Longwang Family Ancestral Hall, Suo Wang Family Ancestral Hall, Xi Wang Family Ancestral Hall, and Chen Family Ancestral Hall. The entrances to these halls feature intricately carved archways, resembling grand murals. Each ancestral hall is adorned with two to three pairs of couplets, narrating the migration history of the clan and imparting wisdom to future generations. The imposing firewalls and spacious courtyards with paved blue-stone floors create an inviting atmosphere. The courtyard layout includes several wing rooms with spacious interiors, high ceilings, and deep depths. The main hall proudly displays ancestral tablets.

Ancient Temples

Longli boasts numerous temples and shrines from the Ming and Qing periods, contributing to the city’s spiritual and cultural richness. Within the city, eleven temples stand, complemented by five outside the city walls and additional temples on various streets. At the city’s heart, the Guanyin Hall houses the “Grand Temple,” while the right side accommodates the “City God Temple” (Chenghuang Miao). The East Street hosts the “Confucius Temple” (Wen Miao), and the West Street is graced by the “Warrior Temple” (Guandi Miao) with the adjacent “Kuixing Tower.” Notable temples also include the “Wooden Horse Temple” and “Jade Emperor Pavilion” in the northwest corner, the “Erlang Temple” in the southwest corner, the “Feishan Temple” near the Drum Tower, and the “Wuxian Temple” in the southeast corner. Each temple venerates different deities, including Daoist figures like Jade Emperor, Zhenwu Emperor, and Wenchang Emperor, Confucius from Confucianism, and Bodhisattvas such as Guanyin, Samantabhadra, and Ksitigarbha from Buddhism. These temples serve as spiritual hubs, contributing to the diverse religious landscape within Longli Ancient City.

Other Attractions in Liping County

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