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Zikou: one of China’s 100 most endangered cultural heritage sites

Zikou (碛口) , an ancient town unknown to many, was listed among the second batch of famous historical towns in 2005 when it was recognized as one of the 100 most endangered cultural heritage sites in China. Photos:


Situated in the middle of Shanxi-Shaanxi Gorge, Linxian, Shanxi province, Zikou sits where the Yellow River and Qiushui River converge, once serving as a place where merchant ships in large numbers transported goods, and served as an important wharf for Jin-Merchants.


The town once had its heyday in the past before it evolved into a closed and poor state. In the 1980s, Zikou was rediscovered by artists like Wu Guanzhong. With regard to ancient towns, we should never forget Zikou, a town with integral scenery and rich cultural content similar to other locales in China’s southern region south of the Yantze River such as Zhouzhuang (周庄) , Tongli (同里) and Wuzhen (乌镇) .

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