Tangible Cultural Heritage Museum-Benzhai Village

Tangible Cultural Heritage Museum

Benzhai Village

by Live in Guizhou

Image Source: Sina News

Benzhai Village is part of Qiyenqiao Town in Xixiu District, Anshun City. Located in a basin surrounded by mountains, primarily Yunjiu Mountain, the village features hilly terrain with well-developed river systems and abundant underground water sources. It has a pleasant climate with an average annual temperature of 14.5°C and beautiful scenery, making it the core area where the Ming Dynasty’s southern expedition army was stationed.

Founded at the beginning of the Ming Dynasty, Benzhai is one of 47 fortified villages in Qiyenqiao Town. It serves as an architectural museum among these fortified villages, composed of numerous tri-courtyards and quadrangular courtyards, with walls connected to form highly defensive internal passages and tall walls within the village. The seven diaolou towers in the village have observation holes for monitoring surroundings and facilitating communication. Many households even have gun holes in the shapes of T’s and plum blossoms in their courtyard walls, providing strategic defense at every step.

Benzhai boasts rich tourist resources and a profound cultural heritage. Not only does it preserve a rich collection of ancient buildings, but it also embodies the strong fortress culture, including traditional costumes, cuisine, local opera, lantern festivals, customs, and pastoral scenery. It provides material evidence for scholars studying the history of the Ming Dynasty and recreates the fortress culture from over 600 years ago for visitors.