Constructed through mountainous terrain in the third century bce the Jingxing Ancient Road was the main artery connecting Hebei and Shanxi provinces until the 1940s
Photo credit CRIENGLISH.com/Fu Yu
Shen Ting, CRIENGLISH.com, reports last month that –
One century older than the Roman road Via Aurelia, the Jingxing Ancient Road remained as the national road connecting Hebei and Shanxi provinces until the 1940s. Though bleak and desolate now, this cultural relic holds a lot of stories still relevant to the current generation.
A scenic spot in Hebei Province’s Jingxing County was named “Qinhuang Ancient Road.” Qinhuang, the first Qin emperor who united China in 221 B.C., ordered his subjects to build a national road network stretching to every corner of his realm — Jingxing Ancient Road was a key part of that network. Jiang Chunxia, a guide at the scenic spot, introduces the best-preserved part of the ancient road, where two tracing ruts are still deeply branded into the flagging road.
“In ancient times, this flagging was a national road, bustling and crowded with people and vehicles. Since the distance between carriage wheels were made the same and this particular section of road was very narrow, repeated travel by carriages made grooves into the road. Workers were called on to flatten out the bulges left by wheeled vehicles of the time. As a result, the original was two meters higher than the current road.”
Blessed with such rare historic relics, the local government cherishes this treasure. Since 1998, the Jingxing County government has invested three million yuan in preserving the road. Likewise, a general protection project with a 2.3 million yuan investment is in the pipeline. Du Xianming, head of the County Relics Preservation Institute, says, “The project aims to protect the relics in general, including two parts of the ancient road, as well as the surrounding vegetation, houses and villages. The investment comes from the central government and the project will last for eight months.”