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惠山祠堂 Ancestral Temple of Huishan

wh  10-11-27 22:18



After half a year’s waiting, I have seen the new looks of the renovated ancient town of Huishan after all.

The unceasing drizzle in recent days rinsed the streets. Walking on the time-old stone road with its primitive simplicity, I was touched by the charm of the ancient town. After the oriental planes being moved away from here, the little town was unfolding itself before the world more clearly without any veiling. Strolling in the quiet and long alleys, I seemed to be seeking for the fragments of the lost time.


The ancestral temple is like a thick history book recording the family trees of common people. In other villages, it’s usual to have a few sparsely located ancestral temples here and there, while at the foot of the Huishan Mountain there are 118 thousand-year-old ancestral temples built side by side on an area of 0.3 square kilometers. Later generations can mostly find their ancestors here. The accumulation and precipitation of over 1200 years have given birth to the unique “Huishan ancestral temple complex” in China. These temples are used to enshrine 70 family clans of 22 categories. The intensity and scale of these ancestral temples are rare to find home and abroad. As a place with mountain and water landscapes, with spring and cave scenery, the Town of Huishan is commonly recognized as a treasure land. It is thus an ideal place for building ancestral temples. These temples silently stare at the fast changing world, carrying on themselves the history of rise and fall of the families and guarding firmly the root of the people in Wuxi.



The men guarding the ancestral temples have made handicrafts in diversified shapes with the clay from the Huishan Mountain, and sold them to the merchants or tourists to make ends meet. The handicrafts are the Huishan clay figurines known to us all.


The ancestral temples record not the national history or the changes of the land, but also the time-honored stories of many ordinary families. You will want to search things related to your ancestors when you come here. In the courtyard, I found two stones with hundreds of surnames engraved in different typefaces. The moment I found out my own family name, I couldn’t cover the excitement in my heart.


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Edit on11-02-18 10:42