Zhangbi Ancient Fortress is a rare ancient castle in China, which integrates military, production, astrology and religious activities. It is located in Jiexiu city, Shanxi province, around 140 kilometers southwest of Taiyuan and 40 kilometers southwest of Pingyao Ancient Town. With an area of only 120,000 square meters, Zhangbi Ancient Fortress is also called a miniature castle. The entire fortress was constructed based on Chinese astrology.
Zhangbi Ancient Fortress, 1,020 meters (3,346 feet) above sea level, is surrounded by gullies on three sides, and a mountain on the fourth side. It has 10-meter (33 feet) tall walls on the outside, making it easy to defend but hard to attack. In addition, the ancient fortress is full of underground tunnels, like cobwebs, extending in all directions and cleverly connected to the buildings above ground. The tunnels, about 2 meters (2 yards) high and 1.5 meters (1.6 yards) wide, have been explored for about 1,500 meters (1,640 yards). There are still 8,500 meters (9,300 yards) to be explored, for a total length of about 10,000 meters (11,000 yards). There are mangers, granaries and slaughter houses as well as dozens of covert entrances hidden above ground or under the foundations of folk dwellings. Villagers could easily reach the tunnels quickly for protection when enemies invaded. The tunnels could accommodate 30,000 people and you can visit the tunnels and experience the wisdom of the ancients here.
Many religious relics of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism have been found in this area. They are mainly distributed around the northern and southern gates of Zhangbi Ancient Fortress. Kong Wang Memorial Temple is a memorial temple used to worship Kong Wang, the first of the Han people to achieve enlightenment through Buddhism.
In Kong Wang Memorial Temple, there is a statue of Kong Wang Buddha and many murals which tell how Kong Wang became a Buddha. In addition, there are two rare colored glaze steles in front of the temple. Zhen Wu Temple is a Taoist temple mainly used to worship Zhen Wu, a deity of the north who watches over water and soldiers. There is also the Songzi Avalokitesvara Palace where people pray for the good fortune of their children, the Kuixing Building where people offer prayers for good grades in school, the Guanyu Temple where people pray for security and the Caishen Temple where people pray for wealth.
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