Many friends have traveled to the magnificent Imperial Palace. Shaped like a jade belt and beautifully carved Jinshui Bridge, it is the best location for many Chinese and foreign tourists to visit this place. But do you know where these wonderful white stone bridges come from? Its name may be relatively unfamiliar – Quyang.
Located in the western part of the North China Plain, Quyang, Hebei Province, is one of the birthplaces of Chinese carving art. The Jinshui Bridge, the National Museum, the People’s Heroes Memorial Monument, the Lugou Bridge, and the Zhaozhou Bridge in Hebei in front of the Forbidden City are all familiar attractions, and wherever there are stone carvings, almost all come from the hands of the Quyang stonemason.
The Quyang stone carving began in the Han Dynasty, flourished in the Tang Dynasty, flourished in the Yuan Dynasty and has a long history of more than 2,000 years. According to historical records, in the 98th century BC, Han Wudi Liuche, a brilliant general, personally visited Quyang and worshipped the Hengshan Mountain. Han Wu Di saw the prosperity of the local sculpture, so the small seal of Quyang was “the hometown of sculpture”. Since then, the stone carving of Quyang has begun to emerge.
By the end of the Qing Dynasty, the Quyang stone sculpture represented China in the Panama Pacific Universal Exposition and won the silver medal for the country. Since then, the reputation of “the salty stone sculpture of Quyang in the world” has begun to spread around the world. In 1995, Quyang was formally named the “Hometown of Chinese Sculpture” by the state and became the “biggest leader” of the domestic stone carving industry.
Today, Quyang carving has become one of the characteristic cultural industries in Hebei Province. In this small county town, there are more than 2,300 sculpture companies of various sizes, and the products are sold in more than 100 countries and regions. The annual output value is as high as 3 billion yuan. Not only that, Quyang also owns 3 world-class carving masters, more than 100 provincial masters and more than 100,000 employees.
In addition to stone carving, Quyang also occupies a decisive position in the history of ceramic development in China. The Ding Kiln located in Quyang is ranked first among the five famous kilns of “Ding, Ru, Guan, Ge, and Jun”. The national treasure that everyone is familiar with – the Northern Song Dynasty baby pillow, is the treasure of Quyang Ding Kiln.
Although it is only a small county in the north, Quyang is a major cultural relic in Hebei Province. According to statistics, there are as many as 185 cultural relics protection units in Quyang, of which there are 6 national key cultural relics protection units. The Beiyue Temple, the Ding Kiln Site, and the Tomb of the King at the Tomb are precious historical sites and are worth a visit. If you have time, you may wish to come and go around here!