Huang Cheng Xiang Fu looking for development

FangJi MA 1 Francesco MAGLIOCCOLA 马方济
(1) Honorary Professor of Henan Institute of Engineering, Zhengzhou, P.R.China (ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN ITALIAN BOOK in the year 2013)


Put the attention at the cultural heritage in the vision of the complex relationship between the shapes and the materials of the places and the still life of the peoples which live there is today fundamentally to preserve the architectural and environmental patrimony to insure a sustainable development. The knowledge of the history and the control of the transformation’s dynamics are a warranty of a right procedure of preservation and valorization of identity of the territory as culture landscape . The respect of social and cultural identity of the peoples which preserve their self the cultural heritage is the start point for the protection, conservation and valorization of that. So if peoples are informed, involved and can to take part actively in the transformation process with increased knowledge they will be actors of the better safeguard of the cultural heritage. So with the contribute “Huang Cheng Xiang Fu looking for development” the author want to affront the discussion about the Landscape Culture which is preserved in the Chinese Castles and in the architecture which are inside or around the Castles. The several faces which have the Culture Landscape with key element the East Castle as architecture of the Castle, special human habitat, environment as a castle, the tourism industry and the historical culture circle, and  how to preserve the culture landscape include the historical architecture restoration.

Keywords: Architecture, Castle, Conservation, Cultural Property, World Heritage



  1. Cultural Landscape in Shanxi Province, P.R.China

Shanxi is one of the provinces rich in natural resources such as coal continues to be mined but is also gradually evolving through the development of High Tech and the application of new technologies in the agricultural sector. Shanxi is a mountainous region where the earth, whose predominant color is red, is rich in mineral resources. There are also close to those natural resources are the testimonies of ancient Chinese culture and especially of what was the relationship between those who administered the state and the population. In that area the architecture is particularly interesting with the castle and some vernacular architecture. In fact, fortunately, Shanxi province owns a collection of ancient castles but only a minority of them has been developed and protected. I have visited some castles and in particular the Castle which was the residence of the minister of the Emperor Kangxi. The building is located in a mountain landscape and its location was chosen according to the dictates of Chinese geomancy (feng shui) for which there are three sides of the mountain peaks while the fourth side there was the river. Entering through the narrow streets of the castle can still hear the footsteps of the ancient occupant and see glimpses of rare beauty that especially in this period are covered with a color that is constantly changing as the sky covered by clouds that sometimes they drop the flakes snow, which reveals the full rays of the sun’s blue sky and sunlight. Every corner recalls a moment in the life of the castle, from the places reserved for the family Cheng those of servitude and a lot of people who worked inside the castle. The building consists of two parts, the uppermost, and that is the real core of the complex, one located at the bottom and surrounded by a second sort of walling in which ordinary people lived and where the entrance ‘building of the man who controlled those who entered and emerged from the castle.


  • 1 Huang Cheng Xiang Fu – The House of Prime Minister of Kangxi Emperior

Huang Cheng Xiang Fu is a castle locate in Shanxi Province (山西省), Yangcheng County (阳城县), Beiliui Town (北留镇), Huangcheng Village(皇城村) owned by Chen family. The most famous man in this family was Chen Tingjing, the teacher of Kangxi Emperor in Qing dynasty. The Castle is a kind of rare ancient architecture in China, it has special history, culture and nature condition. After the Cultural Revolution destruction of the Imperial Xiangfu many original buildings have withered collapsed, and many cultural relics lost. Huangcheng Xiangfu precious cultural spend 30 million yuan since 1998, the spirit of “The whole principle of the old as to maintain the original appearance of” Huangcheng Xiangfu protective repair is now the Imperial CityXiangfu area has long been a Jincheng first and only national 5A level scenic spots.


Fig. 1: Huang Cheng Xiang Fu. The house of Chancellor in Huang Cheng. He Shan Lou. (Photo 2012, Author)

This castle is not a rarity in this part of southern Shanxi, but as you can see today it is a sacrament in which the best preserved and sound management to enable their use for tourism with a high quality of services offered. Huang Cheng Xiang Fu will looking for some European Castle’s owners or managers to collaboration on development of the protection of site.  The research introduce in to the management of the Castle the best practice and the concept of sustainability to develop and preserve the knowledge of past time and help the local community for future generations.  The Huangcheng has had a rich history of people who have stood with the emperor and who had the glory for their services rendered. There are many who have studied the Confucian classics and have prepared their minds to successfully confront the imperial examinations. Include a significant number of people who, having passed these tests were able to emerge the dependencies of the Empire. So a deep history that virtually isolated from one place and therefore relatively preserved has found its origins and today he attracted the attention of China as a development model in which the entire community is involved. The Huangcheng is therefore the symbol of a positive act, where as the concept of sustainable development is taking place and where the importance of the place is again placing itself at the top of an emerging system that means even more to deal with other realities, especially from Western which intends to acquire the know-how is still missing. But the conditions we are all in this case because the basic element, which defines the driving force behind the whole operation, is the architectural heritage that is the focus of interest. Redeveloping it and reporting it, though sometimes in a somewhat ‘paradoxical, functions and forms of the past, have an extremely educational. So then a study that implements what has already been done and the present day which brings the system on a sound methodology that is respectful of international fees is essential for growth and the future from this type of image that sets you expect to arrive.



Fig. 2,3: Huang Cheng Xiang Fu. The house of Chancellor in Huang Cheng. . (Photo 2012, Author)


Fig. 4,5: Huang Cheng Xiang Fu. The house of Chancellor in Huang Cheng.  (Photo 2012, Author)

During this period, the Chen family from the industrial and commercial home and gradually developed into a the courtiers giant family. Therefore, the buildings of the Imperial city of ancient houses, the have courtiers House. Imperial City walls and the Heshan Floor, Cangbing, hole fortifications, is the historical product of the specific historical conditions of the late Ming and World unrest. This set of ancient houses, courtiers mansions, worship shrines, and fortifications in China as one of the architectural forms are rare. At the same time, the building process of the Imperial financial official regulation and local traditions as a whole, both the unique architectural style, but also show a strong local process characteristics. Huangcheng Xiangfu on architectural forms and art practices are all strictly follow the system of feudal social hierarchy of feudal ceremony. Vernacular Architecture, traditional courtyard and simple decoration, the the courtiers mansion was front sleep system Gochang bright, ornate, outside the court hall, allocated units for the the Yangcheng local double eaves of buildings . Single bungalow, living as a servant butler hospital the Miss hospital the form of coupons Ceiling, Wenchang Pavilion, and the Spring and Autumn Pavilion was built in the highest point of the inner city walls. Chen Ancestral Hall was built in the axis of the gates of the inner city, save the stone inscriptions of the Emperor Yu Shu Yu Shu Building was built in a prominent position outside the city. All of these Chinese feudal society “up and down, etc., differentiated, patriarchal feudal ceremony system concepts have been fully reflected in the architectural forms and craft techniques.





  • cultural heritage, architectural monuments, arts and culture

Yangcheng County North stay in the town of Imperial Village, this Imperial Village, located southeast of Shanxi Province, Jincheng City North remain the territory of the town, adjacent to the east, Jiaozuo City, Henan Province, bordering the South and the ancient capital of Luoyang, the West and Linfen City, Shanxi Province, Hou intersect Ma City, North Shanxi Province Changzhi City abuts the Asia’s largest mine-mouth power stations – Yangcheng power plant in close proximity, communication network covering the whole village, location is excellent the Jinyang highway pass, convenient traffic conditions.Pillow mountain near the water, mountains and built magnificent walls, battlements buildings, many ancestral houses, row upon row, a group with characteristics of the ancient buildings. Imperial Xiangfu tourist attractions as the carrier of this group of ancient buildings built. Imperial village inhabited by 234, 680 I-mouth people, farming 480 acres of land, the village’s total area of 1.7 square kilometers. The ground rich, abundant coal resources, the ground the teacher of Emperor Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty, Kangxi read official WenYuanGe scholar, the Ministry of Personnel Book of Rhythm of the Fifth Hometown “Imperial Xiangfu. Since the reform and opening up, has founded a variety of industries of coal mining, light industry, agricultural processing, tourism and services. Imperial Xiangfu 2001 for one of the top ten tourist attractions by the Shanxi provincial government. At present Imperial Xiangfu daily, full of tourists, an endless stream. Imperial Xiangfu points inside and outside the city building. The inner city to the Rhythm of the Fifth Uncle Chen Chang Yu Chong Horse (1642) built in, outside the city built was Chen Tingjing in Kangxi 42 years (1703), Shing Mun middle of the stone tablet engraved with “middle village” word. Village in the Ming and Qing li A system era, has always belonged to the Guo Yu. Republic of China and after the liberation induced in 1960, the village is Guo the Yuxiang or Guo valley management. Independent Battalion in 1961, 1984 administrative villages.Place names census of the last century, the 1980s, said Huang urban and rural areas, but the village seal to break the restricted area inscribed “Imperial” Village.



Village Imperial Qing Kangxi is a product Guanglu doctor, the Jingyan speaking officer, WenYuanGe scholar, board of civil chancery and large books of the three, “Kangxi”, “Pei Wen Yun House” read the official assisted the Qing Dynasty of half a century the name of the generation the phase Rhythm of the Fifth of the hometown. Rhythm of the Fifth, the word sub-side, said rock, late afternoon Pavilion. He naturally gifted, talented, five-year-old reciting poetry, and 9-year-old Fu “Peony”, Scholars in the 20-year-old, into the Hanlin. His strange career, Hanhai romantic life 28 promotion parameters known confidential where more than 40 years, served as officials, households, punishment, work four chancery two-term Censorate left censor any JingYan speak Where an order 35years. His erudition Mingzhe heavy literary Code, spit speech chasing Yan Xu, “non-product the word tired sentence of beginners can glimpse that the Kangxi Emperor reputation as a” room Yao than Yayun Li Du and poetry ho .Zhirenshanren, open-minded and above-board, literature recommended Wang Wan, Wang Shizhen into Hanlin, honest and recommended land Gansu, Yao Shao heir Censor. Zheng Qing dynasty, Thorn remarks apply outs, and guard against the tired and broken; the Shenhemoli and outside with distinction; accepted money to France, a clear money to France; of reform, China stick affordable. Books of his president, great feats, he has worked as Kangxi, Pei Wen Yun House “,” Qing-class records, “” Three pilgrims training “,” three dynasties national history “,” Qing Law “,” Great Qing Code, the “pacification inverse strategy,” the pacification Shuomo strategy, “Political Code training”, “Ming Dynasty”, “learn lessons from past series of access”, “Ancient Wenyuan Kam” editing and CEO of the classics. His numerous writings, the huge system of monumental afternoon Pavilion series “the 50-volume spread in the world, afternoon Pavilion Hermit” in three volumes afternoon kiosks go back to the set of “two volumes, in addition to the above old saying” “ancient poetry Tibet”, “Kenneth Pavilion pen”, “Book of Filial Piety Journal misrepresentation release. Emperor Kangxi of his old and sick to make stacked sent into the minister and asked about his behind the Kangxi Emperor Qin Ming Prince Pro lay funeral Guizang Teci device treasury gold, Qianguan, care, resulting in an elegy, three system elegiac, “to -year-old injured secondary, successive years of pain soup “.

He Shan lou 7-Model

Fig. 8: Huang Cheng Xiang Fu. The house of Chancellor in Huang Cheng. (Survey 2012, Author)

The Huang Cheng Xiang Fu is located south of the village is divided into inner city and outer city, the peak of the construction began in, Xuande four years, until the Qing Emperor Kangxi 53 years, almost Imperial Chan the rise and fall of the family always. The inner city is the former residence of the Ming and Qing dynasties Chen family. Its building is rectangular in shape, and mountains on the potential and the building, east to the west, the majestic and impressive, a distance of 71.5 meters, a distance of 161.75 meters from north to south, located five Western Wall, two normally open, the rest for construction material transport channel, after the completion of fill real cementing.  Over the wall set up forts, important parts Fortifications House, and in the northeast, southeast corner of the highest point of construction of Wenchang Pavilion and Spring and Autumn Pavilion, in order to gods Jingwei protecting. Weeks within the walls of a dense Cangbing hole total of more than 130 wartime retainers stack husband hiding leisure. The northern part of the inner city to build a tall fort floor, it is called “rivers and mountains floor, long thirty feet four feet, wide nijo four feet high feet. Floor, seven points, wall stairway or wooden ladder connected between layers, layer the bottom deep underground, equipped with living facilities such as wells, mills, wartime tribe to avoid the enemy hideout. The end of construction sub-shrines in the inner city, residential areas and courtiers Di three types of different styles, Chen Ancestral Hall, Temple Building, houses the world Germany ranks Shuter Habitat and Kirin hospital the courtiers private Darongshan Public House and censor government and other. Outside the city for the Rhythm of the Fifth of Sidi. Its construction closely follows the inner city west of the city was built, the basic square, slightly shorter than the inner city, 106 meters wide from east to west and 100 meters long from north to south, the city wall with battlements and watchtowers, four, Simon is normally open, and the remaining locked. The city’s main building for Chen Tingjing mansion — scholar, the supporting architectural study, garden, Miss hospital steward hospital. The Xiangfu outside the main entrance and a small two merit of St. Paul, outside the city has a a Yushu floor, set Emperor Kangxi gave Rhythm of the Fifth Yushu afternoon Pavilion Village plaque and Chungui trees shade Mao, autumn to yellow later years Hong couplets carved stone. Starting in 1995, the Imperial City, the people under the leadership of the Party Branch group of people, firmly grasp the structural adjustment on the main line, vigorously implement the “Industrial Village, Tourism Village, strong scientific and technological village” strategy, initially out of a sustained economic development, farmers continued to increase the road of scientific development. Brand backed by a coal industry, the tourism industry, biopharmaceutical high-tech industries and development of trans-regional, cross-sectoral and wide-ranging and diversified industrial structure in the Imperial City has basically formed a The existing total assets of 500 million yuan, employs 3700 people of the village of large enterprise groups rise up in this small village, the small village of only more than 700 people has thus become a more than 4500 people in the small towns.

      rong shan

Huang Cheng Xiang Fu, Mentou of Rongshan’s House (left).  Example of column’s basis (right). (Survey 2012, Author).



The village of farmers per capita net income reached 11,500 yuan in 2006, while per capita enjoy a variety of social security and welfare of more than 6000 yuan. The village a total of over a hundred cars, 80% of households using the Internet, 90% of the villagers live on the garden-style villas, and 100 percent of the workforce to achieve stable employment; outside the village of more than 3,300 foreign farmers in the Imperial Xiangfu Group work. The villagers were not only enjoying the city people the same social security and welfare, living and city people are basically the same wonderful life and civilization, but also enjoy and city people, infrastructure and construction. Village collective has been awarded “China Top Ten well-off village,” China’s famous historical and cultural village “, the national agricultural tourism demonstration sites, the” National Green advanced unit “,” national civilized towns advanced collective “, the” new rural star village “,” China’s top ten most beautiful towns and villages “,” Charming Country “and” China Top Ten Features Village “; the village Party branch in the 2006” July “was named” the national advanced grassroots party organizations . September 9, 2006, Hu Jintao, Vice President Zeng Qinghong in the Imperial City inspections, new rural construction on the Imperial City and all work to give full recognition and spoke highly of. The Huang Cheng village is a highest quality of life village. The peoples of Huang Cheng village live in a villa apartments and the 60 % of they have a car and computer. All cost for children school as tuition and all pensions for aged over 60 and disease hospitalization are paid for the village. Huang Cheng village Primary School is a demonstration primary school Jincheng ‘s the only one and Peking University, the school to distance learning point Imperial Village in Shanxi province’s first and only “China Top Ten well-off village”. Imperial Village is the new gold province in rural areas first and only outdoor soil latrine all become flush automated induction toilet rural areas, even if it is also rare in the country. Imperial Village Chinese historical and cultural village, Imperial Village was named the national agricultural tourism demonstration sites.

Huang Cheng Xiang Fu, Mentou of Rongshan’s House (left).  Example of column’s basis (right). (Survey 2012, Author).

  • 1 Ancient city of Dǐ Jì chéng

The city of Di Ji Cheng have the old wall just on the river and it is possible to see this from the Highway which pass not many far from here. This part of the city is the oldest and was used in the last war as a good military defense of Chinese army. Today the space is used to store the aliments for the animals as the sheep. Not is simple to walking on the wall because the road is very small and dangerous. The protect city is rich of ancient architectural elements and it is possible to see a live glossary of vernacular architecture of China in Ming and Qing Dynasty.

15,16: Dǐ Jì chéng砥洎城(Photo 2012, Author)

  • 1 GuoYu Town

The city wall have a height of 12 meters and a width around the 5 meters. The total perimeter of the battlemented wall measure 1500 meters. The wall was opened in three gates. The vernacular built inside the town are of the period of Ming Dynasty. In the center of GuoYu town there is a seven storey building. This construction made with bricks to protect against soldier and bandits from attacking and robbing.

13,14: Guo Yu ancient town – (郭峪古城Guō Yù Gǔ Chéng). The corner defence turret of city’s wall (Left) and the Yù Lóu 豫楼 (right). (Photo 2012, Author)

  • 1 Ancient castle of XiāngYù gǔchéngbǎo湘峪古城堡

The ancient castle of Xiang Yu is very big and at arrival in front of this seem to stay in another country as Franch or east Europe for the impression of the power express from the wall and from the bit tower locate on the main entrance. There isn’t not so much new elements but substantially some of those are effectively not correct. As example of this there is the bridge which cross the river. That construction is build recently and not have corresponding with the ancient connection between the castle and the land around. Inside the castle have a lot of building which are expression of mixer of folk architecture and prestigious architectural decorations. In the last periods there is a special program to repair the castle and to promote it in the cultural itinerary. In this case the planning want to develop the management of the place with attention at the original character with a scientific approach.

Dǐ Jì chéng砥洎城(Photo 2012, Author)


  • 1 An ancient temple in Beiliu

Locate on the top of hill in the scenic area where is possible to see the river and high mountain around. The place is very hard to climb and is protect just for the difficulties to find it. It is necessary to walk for many minutes in the land trough the cultivate private land. At end the vision of the surround area is a absolutely exceptional. The temple was saved for the human destruction for many years but recently the absence of maintenance cause the ruin. The roof is partially broken and the fresco inside are serious damaged.

An ancient temple in Beiliu and the scenic area around. (Photo 2012, Author)

  • 1 The burial site of BaiHe Xuan

    Fig. 21,22: The burial site of BaiHe Xuan (白鹤轩).External (left) and internal (right) view with stone animals (Photo 2012, Author)

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Bibliographical References


[1]        WANG QiHeng, Suvey and Map of Ancient architecture. China Building Press, 2006. ISBN 9787112085453.

[2]        YU Junhai, Huang Cheng The birth place of China’s historical prime minister, China travel and tourism press, Beijing 2003 ISBN 7-5032-2205-0/K 695

[3]        WANG, Baoku. WANG, Peng. Huangcheng Xiangfu. Shanxi Economics Press, 2002 ISBN 9787806366264.

[4]        SHANXI PROVINCIAL DEPARTMENT OF BUILDING, Ancient suburb in Shanxi. China Building press, 2007. ISBN 9787112089635.


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