Jianshui Acient Town in Honghe Prefecture
Jianshui, 220 kilometers south of Kunming, is a state historic and cultural city. The climatic condition here is pleasant, neither hot in summer nor cold in winter. Moreover, it is one of the earliest developed cities in south Yunnan that enjoys the fame of being an ancient cultural city and important gateway. Since the Yuan Dynasty, it was the political, cultural and communication center in south Yunnan. Jianshui got the name because the basin was flooded every summer and autumn.
It is one of the areas that have been deeply influenced by the Central Plains culture. The long history of Jianshui has produced its splendid culture. Due to its early development, Jianshui produced thousands of scholars. Moreover, with the influence of the grand Jianshui Confucius Temple, it was rightfully called "the Cultural City" since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
The age-old history, splendid culture and glorious tradition have produced many historic sites in Jianshui. With more than 100 ancient temples, 50 ancient bridges and 56 state-protection cultural relics, Jianshui enjoys the fame "the Museum of Ancient Constructions", which highlights the ancient Chinese culture and art. Jianshui is also rich in natural resources, including manganese, iron, lead -zinc, copper and others. The reserve of discharge manganese accounts for one-third of the national total. Besides, Jianshui is devoted to developing local handicrafts, among which Jianshui earthenware is the most well known as it is one of the four celebrated potteries in China.
Huili is the ancient language of the Yi nationality. It means "sea". Translated into Chinese, it's Jianshui. Jianshui Prefecture was founded here in the Yuan Dynasty. It was governed by Lin’an Lu (name of administrative area). In addition, the Xuan Wei Si (administrative department) of Lin'an, Guangxi, Yuanjiang and the like was set up here. It reigned over Lin'an Lu, Guangxi Lu, Yuanjiang Lu and some other Lu. In the Ming dynasty, it was still called Jianshui Prefecture. However, it was changed from Lu to Fu (name of administrative area).
The administrative department of Lin'an Prefecture moved into Jianshui. In the Qianlong reign of the Qing Dynasty, Jianshui Prefecture was changed into Jianshui County. In the first year of the Repbulic of China, Jianshui County was changed into Lin'an County. The next year the name was changed into Jianshui County again.
The earliest Jianshui Town was built up with earth during the period of the Nanzhao Regime. In the 20th year of the Hongwu reign of the Ming Dynasty (A.D.1387), it was built into a brick town. When Li Guo'an conquered Lin'an Town, three city towns in the south, north and west were distoryed during heavy fighting. In the 4th year of the Kangxi reign of the Qing Dynasty, the town was rebuilt but damaged again. Only the Chaoyang City Tower in the east still stood there although it has experienced a lot of wars and earthquakes. It has had a history of nearly 600 years so far. Since the Yuan Dynasty, the temple school began to appear in Jianshui County.
The school of Lin'an Prefecture was set up in the Hongli reign of the Ming Dynasty. The Confucianism of Jianshui Prefecture was set up in the Wanli reign of the Ming Dynasty. In the Qing Dynasty, the Chongzheng College, the Huanwen College, the Chongwen College and the Qujiang College were built up successively. At that time, Jianshui was called "Lin Half List". It meant that the successful candidates coming from Lin'an Prefecture, whose names were published on the list, accounted for 50 percent of the total number in the imperial examinations of Yunnan.
The number was the largest in Yunnan. The phenomenon was rare in the whole country. In 1994, Jianshui was one of the third group of China's famous historic and cultural cities, which are authorized by the State Council of the People's Republic of China. The ancient town has been constructed for 12 centuries. There are more than 50 ancient buildings well-kept until now. It's reputed as "the Ancient Building Museum" and "the Folk House Museum".