It is 6.5 kilometers away from Shenxian county, one of the historical and cultural cities in China. There are 7 memorial archways winding their ways into a group, simple and elegant. 3 were built in Ming dynasty, the other were built in Qing. All of them are in order of loyalty, filial piety, moral integrity and justice. In recent years, it used to be the scenery for filming such films as "Dream of the Red Mansions" and "Smoke Blocked Double-eaved Roof", it has become a world-famous tourist spot of top culture grade.
Tangyue Memorial Archways, a complex made up of seven archways, were built by Bao family, a famous Hui business family that lived through during Ming (1368 - 1644) and Qing (1644 - 1911) Dynasties. It is the masterpiece of artistic architecture at that time.
Tangyue Memorial Archways are the embodiment of the moral ethics of Hui people. In feudal society, the memorial archways were established in honor of the higher officials who made great contribution to the country or the man with the virtues of being filial, loyal and faith. It was really a glory for a man to have the archway built for him.
Built at the entrance of Tangyue Village, the Seven Memorial Archways were arranged in the order of Zhong (loyalty to the court), Xiao (filial obedience), Jie (virginity kept for a husband) and Yi (faith to friends). Each arch was built in connection with a moving story and vividly revealed in one way or another moral value of the time.
Speaking of the archways, there is always a story that arouses our admirable feeling and sentimental complex. The Mashi Archway was built during the Jiajing period (1522 - 1566) of the Ming Dynasty. The characters of 'Imperial Decree' were embedded on the cornice. On both sides of the beam is a pair of empaistic male lions in majesty. It was built in compliment of Bao Can, a man with great filial piety. It is recorded that Bao Can's mother was ill on the feet. Having looked for the doctor for treatment for many years was proved to be of no use. The filial son Bao Can kept on serving his mother and sucking the pus and blood out of the bad feet until his mother got cured. It was his filial obedience that moved all his fellowmen. Besides, he was good at educating his children. His offspring made great contribution in safeguarding the country. Thus it was agreed by the emperor that a memorial archway was established so as to honor him.
There are many historic sites in Tangyue. The Temple of the Bao's deceased mother, also known as "Qingzi Temple", commonly called "Female Temple", the branch temple of Bao's, commonly called "Male Temple". Both have been repaired as ancient as it will be, with perfect craftsmanship, it is broad. It also take use of man-made scenery and status in ancient style, as well as modern methods such as sound, light and electricity, in order to reproduce its original appearance. With images true to life, they are the evidences to research patriarchal systems and merchant's history in Huizhou.
Among The Tangyue Memorial Arch Group, three of seven are made in the Ming dynasty, and four are in the Qing Dynasty. Although they have a long history, the style of architecture is a successful combination of old and new, which seems a piece of works finished at a heat. These seven arches in turn are: the Baocanxiao Memorial Arch, the Cixiaoli Memorial Arch, the Jiexiao Memorial Arch of Wang, the wife of Baowenling, the Kindness Arch, the Jiexiao Memorial Arch of Wu, the second wife of Baowenyuan, the Baofengchang Dutiful Son Memorial Arch, and the Baoxiangxian Shangshu(a rank in ancient times in China) Memorial Arch. All these are memorial arches of Bao families of Tangyue village.
Nanci (Dunben Hall)
Dunben Hall, usually called Nanci (the ancestral temple for men) was originally built in the Ming dynasty. The complex has five rooms covering 750 square meters. Restored in 1962, it remains the original feature. The interior hall houses important historical records of the flourish of "Hui Shang" (businessman from Huizhou, today's Anhui province).
Nuci (Qingyi Hall)
Usually called Nuci, the hall rarely serves as the ancestral temple for women. Built in the Qing, it was the first ancestral temple for women. It is of high value on the research of the feudal ethical codes and patriarchal norms.
The Cixiaoli Memorial Arch was built in the Yongle period of the Ming dynasty to honor Baosheyan and Baoshouxun, who were father and son. After they were captured by the rebels, the rebels wanted to kill one of them and let them choose who was live and who was dead. These two persons all wanted to use their own death to gain their relative's life. In order to honor the father and son, the memorial arch was granted by the emperor. Later, Qianlong, an emperor of the Qing dynasty, inscribed a couplet: There is no second one of love and filial piety in the world, Tunxi village is the first village of beautiful south of the lower reaches of the Changjiang River. He appropriated sliver to repair it. The memorial archways were respected by generations of ancient Chinese emperors.