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Ancient village under private protection

By ZHU LIXIN | China Daily | Updated: 2016-10-05 09:31

Ancient village under private protection

Farmers in Huangshan city dry crops and fruits in the sun in their yards, which is commonly seen in mountainous areas. ZHANG RONGFU/CHINA DAILY

Although it was an ancient Huizhou-style building, the hostel, opened earlier this year, was not the original building on the site, but was reassembled with the components of similar ancient residences bought from the Huangshan region by Zhang in the last nine years.

Zhang said he runs the hostel not for money, "but mostly for fun, and the guests who share the same tastes with me are the most welcome".

On the site was originally a temple owned by the family of a high-level official surnamed Shu of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). "Out of restoration, the temple vanished about three decades ago", said Zhang.

The Shu family established the village in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). During the peak of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the Qing Dynasty, there were more than 400 houses and 18 family temples, while there are only about 200 houses and seven temples left.

Three years ago, Zhang acquired the land at a cost of 800,000 yuan, while reassembling the current house cost him almost 10 million yuan. The hostel building is just a fraction of what Zhang has bought and rebuilt in the last years.

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