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Longmen Ancient Town

Longmen Ancient TownThis is the hometown of Sun Quan (孙权, 182 – 252 AD), the founder of ancient Wu State during the Three Kingdoms Period. He is a hero of his time, and he is famous for his honesty in handling state affairs.

Longmen Ancient Town situates on the southern bank of Fuchun River in Fuyang, about 50 kilometers away from Hangzhou's city center. The name, Longmen (龙门), literally the dragon gate in Chinese. An ancient Chinese scholar praised the scenery here while he was visiting Fuyang, "It looks like the great Gate of the Dragon, because the beautiful landscape !" Thus the hero's hometown has been called as Dragon Gate.

About 90 per cent of the 7,000 inhabitants here are surnamed Sun (孙). They are the descendants of Sun Quan. They have been settling here for many centuries, so old architecture in Longmen Ancient Longmen Ancient TownTown is best preserved of similar kinds in Yangtze River Delta. They have made a kind of culture of their own too. The ancient and rural atmosphere is still maintained. This invaluable cultural heritage has attracted television stations and journalists at home and abroad.

There is something interest behind the dotted plaque called "Lingering Fragrance in the Wine Vessel" (彝鼎留芳), which is hanged below the ceiling of the majestic Sun's Ancestral Hall. This plaque is made during the Song Dynasty. During 1960s and 1970s, an old man was living in this house. He was a cook in a factory's canteen. When he was here, he was searching a hard and big board for making his bed. He found the plaque "Lingering Fragrance in the Wine Vessel", but he didn't realize the cultural value of it. He used it as the base of his bed here. But his ignorant behavior have safe the heritage from the cultural destruction in chaotic times. After the old man's death, one of the teachers of Longmen Elementary School, surnamed Sun, accidentally found the plaque lying under the cook's bed. He knew it had great historical value, so he placed it in Sun's Ancestral Hall.

"Lingering Fragrance in the Wine Vessel" tells a moving story of Song Dynasty official and lawyer Sun Qi, a descendant of Sun's family, who was so honest that he wouldn't flatter and fear the wealthy and powerful people. At that time a wicked official surnamed Shi, wanted to overthrow Song's emperor by dirty tricks. Sun Qi saw through Shi's cunning ambition when he was dealing a case concerning Longmen Ancient TownShi. However, Shi was very wealthy and he had many close friends. Sun Qi was expelled from the imperial officialdom, he became a peasant in Fuyang. His life was so poor. The emperor dispatched an official to visit Sun after Shi's death, but Sun had died three years earlier. The imperial official admired Sun's moral integrity and his kind personality. So he presented a large plaque "Lingering Fragrance in the Wine Vessel" for his family. There was no member from the Sun's family who had served the Mongol-ruling Yuan Dynasty.

On the plaque, the Chinese character "彝" means imperial laws and "鼎" figures the throne of the emperor. The Lingering Fragrance (留芳) aptly represents the forever remembrance of Sun Qi's honest deeds and admirable personality.

 

 

 

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