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皇宫殿代理最占成:Ancient dwellings given new lease of life

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-06-23 07:18 威尼斯人代理官方网址
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LANZHOU - Sipping coffee in an ancient courtyard and basking under the shade of age-old trees, residents of Tianshui in Gansu province are enjoying more tranquillity and comfort as their ancient dwellings undergo renovation.

With a history of more than 2,700 years, Tianshui is home to a range of residencies built during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911).Zhao Changrong, 74, is among the many locals who have fond memories of these ancient dwellings.

"The residences here feature a combination of northern and southern Chinese architecture," says Zhao, a retiree from a local cultural relic protection institute, who has devoted himself to the protection of ancient buildings for over three decades.

"The wooden buildings and the floral-pendant gates, which separate the first and second courtyards in traditional Chinese residences, are my favorites among all the unique architecture," Zhao says.

However, due to the erosion caused by wind and rain for hundreds of years, the ancient dwellings have become dilapidated with collapsed walls and rotten columns.

To carry out systematic protection and restoration work, Zhao and six other experts formed an investigation team in 2003 with help from local authorities. They launched three censuses of ancient dwellings citywide and identified 143 Ming and Qing dynasty residences in the city, explains Fu Jianhong, head of the municipal historical and cultural city protection center.

In 2018, Tianshui launched a comprehensive renovation project of ancient residences in Qinzhou, a district with one of the highest numbers of ancient dwellings, to build the Tianshui ancient town, to better preserve history and the city's cultural heritage. Zhao was reemployed as an adviser after his retirement.

The project has adopted a principle of minimal intervention, striving to restore the original state of the houses with the least changes necessary. "Only by maintaining the original features can an ancient residence retain its lasting charm," Zhao says.

"The first phase of the project has been completed, and a total of 29 courtyards have been renovated. Leisure activities, such as folk performances, have also been introduced into the town," says Chen Miao, deputy head of the tourist service department of Tianshui ancient town, adding that the town has received 2 million visitors since its inauguration last June.

Zhao Li, who works at Zhao's Old House in the town, has been quite busy lately, serving customers pizza, pasta and other Western delicacies.

"Opening a Western restaurant in this ancient courtyard was a success. The fusion of Chinese and Western elements has become popular, especially among young people," Luo says.

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