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Benzhai: An ancient village built entirely of stone

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2017-03-29

Benzhai: An ancient village built entirely of stone

Benzhai village consists of many crowded courtyard homes, with foundations, walls and roofs all made of stone. Benzhai village, a national key relic protection unit, has become one of China’s most famous historical towns. [Photo/Xinhua]

If you drive 70 kilometers west from Guizhou’s provincial capital, Guiyang, you will come across a warren of gray masonry.

This is Benzhai village, a 600-year-old jumble of traditional courtyard houses built entirely of stone.

A historical curiosity, the ancient village evolved from a military garrison for the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) soldiers sent to guard what was then China’s wild southwestern frontier.

The maze of densely packed homes is built completely of stone, from the foundations to the walls and roofs, which have helped the village survive the centuries.

Benzhai: An ancient village built entirely of stone

The origin of Benzhai village in Anshun county, Guizhou province, can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Benzhai village is one of the best-preserved villages in Anshun county. [Photo/Xinhua]

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