Zhengding County
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Zhengding (), originally Zhending (), is a
county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William and Robert Chambers (publisher bo ...
in southwestern
Hebei Province Hebei (; alternately Hopeh) is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrati ...
,
North China North China, or Huabei ( ) is a List of regions of China, geographical region of China, consisting of the provinces of Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi and Inner Mongolia. Part of the larger region of Northern China (''Beifang''), it lies north ...

North China
, located approximately south of
Beijing Beijing ( ), as Peking ( ), is the of the . It is the world's , with over 21 million residents within an of 16,410.5 km2 (6336 sq. mi.). It is located in , and is governed as a under the direct administration of the with .Figures ...

Beijing
. It is under the administration of the
prefecture-level city A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply " Yangxin County from the neighboring Xianning), but still from the Huangshi main urban area. A prefectural-level municipality (), prefectural-level city or prefect ...
of
Shijiazhuang Shijiazhuang (; ; Mandarin: ), formerly known as Shimen and Chinese postal romanization, romanized as Shihkiachwang, is the capital and largest city of North China's Hebei Province. Administratively a prefecture-level city, it is about southwe ...

Shijiazhuang
, the capital of the province, and has a population of 594,000. Zhengding has been an important religious center for more than 1,000 years, from - at least - the times of the
Sui dynasty The Sui dynasty (, ) was a short-lived imperial dynasty of China of pivotal significance. The Sui unified the Northern and Southern dynasties The Northern and Southern dynasties () was a period in the history of China The earli ...

Sui dynasty
to the
Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last Dynasties in Chinese history, dynasty in the History of China#Imperial China, imperial history of China. It was established in 1636, and ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912, w ...
. It is the founding place of several major schools of
Chan Buddhism Chan (; of ), from Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-Europe ...
. However, many former religious building complexes have been severely damaged throughout history. A noted temple is the Longxing Monastery, where the historical building ensemble has been preserved almost intact. Furthermore, four famous
pagoda (Six Harmonies Pagoda) of Hangzhou Hangzhou (, , Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese, in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a Mandarin Chinese#Subgrouping, dialect of M ...

pagoda
s, each with its own architectural style, are still standing.


History

Archeological finds indicate that the area of Zhengding County has been settled since the early
Neolithic Period The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age, with a wide-ranging set of developments that appear to have arisen independently in several parts of the world. It is first seen about 12,000 years ago when the first developments of ...
. During the
Spring and Autumn period#REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period The Spring and Autumn period was a period in Chinese history The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during the ...
, the capital of the Xianyu Kingdom was located in the area. Under the Han dynasty, Han, the county was the site of Dongyuan, where the emperor Emperor Gaozu of Han, Liu Bang led a siege during Chen Xi (rebel), Chen Xi's rebellion in the early 190sBC.. In the year 256 (Western Jin dynasty), the Changshan Commandery, Changshan Prefecture was established in the county. In 923, during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms, the prefecture was renamed ''Zhengding Prefecture'', which was later rearranged into the ''Zhengding Prefecture'' and ''Zhongshan County''. Zhengding County was created during the Qing Dynasty, in 1723. In 1949, the county was subordinated to ''Shijiazhuang Prefecture'' and in 1986, it came under the jurisdiction of the City of Shijiazhuang. President and General Secretary Xi Jinping was Secretary of the county Party Committee between 1983 and 1985. A Princelings, princeling, son of Xi Zhongxun, he was assigned to this rural area on his own request. He is credited with having a Qing dynasty style mansion constructed in the area for the filming of A Dream of Red Mansions (1988 film series), Dream of Red Mansions.


Geography and climate

Zhengding County ranges from in elevation. It has a continental monsoon climate with four distinct seasons. The year-round averages are for the temperature, 62% for the humidity, for the precipitation, and 2,736 hours for the sunshine time. The frost-free period exceeds 200 days per year.


Administrative Divisions

Zhengding County administers 4 towns and 5 townships, which in turn control 174 villages and 186 natural villages. Towns: *Zhengding Town (), Zhufutun (), Xin'an, Zhengding County, Xin'an (), Xinchengpu () Townships: *Xipingle Township (), Nanniu Township (), Nanlou Township (), Beizaoxian Township (), Quyangqiao Township ()


Pagodas


Chengling Pagoda

The ''Chengling Pagoda'' (''Chengling Ta'') is built from gray bricks, it is also known as the ''Grey Pagoda''. It is located in the Village of Linji to the south of Zhengding and was formerly part of the Linji Temple. The Linji Temple was built during the times of the Eastern Wei dynasty in 540. During the Tang Dynasty, it became the site where the monk Linji Yixuan founded the Linji School, one of the five schools of Chinese Zen, Chan Buddhism. Both Linji Yixuan and the Linji School derive their names from the village. The pagoda was first built in 867 to serve as a shrine for the mantle and alms bowl of Linji Yixuan. The original pagoda was ruined and replaced during 1161 to 1189 (Jin Dynasty, 1115-1234, Jin Dynasty) by the present-day structure. The present pagoda stands on a substructure known as a ''Sumeru Pedestal'' after the mythic Meru (mythology), Mount Sumeru and has an octagonal cross-section. It has nine multi-eared storeys and a total height of 33 meters. Its pedestal is richly decorated. Because it is seen as one of the birthplaces of Zen Buddhism, the Chengling Pagoda is favorite site for pilgrims and tourists from Japan.


Lingxiao Pagoda

The Lingxiao Pagoda, also known as the ''Wooden Pagoda'', is a wood-and-brick construction, which was formerly part of Tianning Monastery, located to the west of Longxing Monastery. It was recorded to have been first built in 860 during the Tang Dynasty, it has undergone many repairs and rebuildings since then. The architectural style of the present-day pagoda was created during the Song Dynasty in 1045 and was left unchanged during later repairs. The pagoda has an octagonal floor plan, nine storeys, and a total height of 41 meters. The four lowest storeys are made from bricks decorated with wooden eaves. From the fifth storey upwards, the pagoda construction is entirely made of wood, constructed around a central pillar. While storey height continuously decreases from the bottom to the top of the pagoda, this decrease is particularly steep in the five upper wooden storeys. The pagoda carries a cast iron spire at its top as well. It is at the foot of this pagoda, that Dutch bishop Mgr. Frans Schraven (1873-1937) and his companions suffered their martyrdom in 1937, at the hands of the Japanese army, because of their refusal to hand over to the soldiers the Chinese women and girls whom had taken refuge in his compound.


Xumi Pagoda

The Xumi Pagoda, named for the mythical Meru (mythology), Mount Sumeru, also known as ''Summer Pagoda'' is part of Kaiyuan Monastery which is located to the west of Zhengding. It was erected from stone and bricks and is at 48 meters the tallest pagoda in Zhengding. The pagoda has an austere geometric design with a square floor plan set on a stone platform which is likewise square-shaped. Stones have also been used in the lower part of the first storey. The Xumi Pagoda was built during the Tang Dynasty in 636. Apart from a wooden ceiling over the first storey (of which no floorboards remain), the inside of the pagoda is hollow and there is no staircase either. Among the rather plain decorations on the outside are thirteen tiers of eaves as well as stone carvings of the Heavenly Kings at the corners of the stone platform. The pagoda is one of originally four fiducial buildings on the grounds of the Kaiyuan Monastery: Tianwang Hall in the front and Fachuan Hall (now in ruins) in the back, a bell tower (built in 540 during the Eastern Wei dynasty, renovated in 898 during the Tang Dynasty) in the east and the pagoda in the west. Today, the Monastery is largely destroyed and the Xumi pagoda stands surrounded by trees.


Hua Pagoda

The ''Hua Pagoda'' (''Hua Ta'', lit.: ''Flower Pagoda'', part of Guanghui Temple (), in the south of Zhengding) is a four-storey brick building with an unconventional shape and a total height of approximately 40 meters. While the lower three storeys have an octagonal floor plan, the fourth storey has a circular layout over which the walls taper towards the tip giving the storey a conical shape. On the outside, this storey is richly decorated with carvings of Buddhas, elephants, and aquatic animals. Another unusual feature of the Hua Pagoda or four small attached buildings, which are pagodas themselves and crowned with an egg-shaped tip. These were once lost but have recently been completely restored. The Hua Pagoda was first erected during the Tang Dynasty. The present-day structure dates back to a rebuilt during the time of the Jin Dynasty, 1115–1234, Jin Dynasty.


Other historical monuments

In June 2000, a gigantic ''bixi (mythology), bixi'' turtle was unearthed in Zhengding's Fuqian Street (). The stone turtle, which originally must have supported a similarly giant stone tablet, is 8.4 m long, 3.2 m wide, and 2.6 m tall, and weighs 107 tons. It is estimated to be around 1200 years old. It has since been moved to Kaiyuan Temple.正定开元寺
(Zhengding's Kaiyuan Temple), 2014-12-22


Transportation

Zhengding has several important railway and road connections, namely the Beijing–Guangzhou railway, Beijing–Guangzhou, Shijiazhuang–Taiyuan railway, Shijiazhuang–Taiyuan, and Shijiazhuang–Dezhou railway, Shijiazhuang–Dezhou railways (), and the G4 Beijing–Hong Kong–Macau Expressway, Beijing–Hong Kong–Macau and G20 Qingdao–Yinchuan Expressway, Qingdao–Yinchuan Expressways. Line 1 (Shijiazhuang Metro), Line 1 of Shijiazhuang Metro have 4 stations in Zhengding County. Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport (SJW/ZBSJ) is located in the county's northeast corner; the Zhengding Airport railway station on the new Beijing–Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong High-Speed Railway is nearby.


References


Citations


Bibliography

* .


External links


Official government of Zhengding County governmentHua Pagoda on cntravel.biz
{{authority control Zhengding County, County-level divisions of Hebei Shijiazhuang