With a history of more than 800 years, Lijiang Ancient City was first built at the end of Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). It is an old alpine town inhabited by Naxi people. With Sifang Street as its center, the city is orderly arranged with five main roads radiating to all directions, and lined with row upon row of tile-roofed houses which are surrounded by streams. Mufu Palace, built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), has chastity stone arches at the back and front, Hall for Official Affairs, Wanjuan Building, Hufa Hall, Guangbi Building, Yuying Building, and Sanqing Hall and so on, which have blended the culture of Han, Bai and Naxi ethnic groups, gathering the beauty and elegance of the gardens in south China. Ancient Lijiang City was put on the List of World Heritages by UNESCO in 1997.
It was the palace of the headmen of Lijiang of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), deserved to be a grand view park of the culture of Ancient Lijiang city. The palace, located at the southwest corner of the ancient city, is a large group of buildings, an imitation of the Forbidden City in Beijing. Among them the Loyalty Stone Arch, with spectacular looking and superb workmanship, may be rated as a treasure of China.
Shuhe Ancient Town, an important part of the Ancient Lijiang City, is one of the earliest sites inhabited by Naxi ancestors in Lijiang highland, and at the same time it was once an important post station on the ancient tea road. Its leather industry is well-developed with its leather products sold to Lhasa, faraway India and some other places.
The temple, located at the south foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and built in the Qing Dynasty (1616-1911), is one of famous lamaseries of Lijiang. The ten thousand camellias in the temple were planted during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) with a history of more than 500 years. The camellias are in full blossom when spring begins every year, praised as the first of its kind in the world.
The murals were drawn on the walls of the Buddhist temples of Lijiang by the Mu family headmen during the Ming Dynasty. Now murals have been found in 55 places in the four temples of Dabao Jigong Hall, Liuli Hall, Dading Pavilion and Jingang Hall in Baisha Township, Yulong County. These murals are artistic works integrating the painting styles of Han, Naxi, Tibetan and Bai ethnic groups. The murals on the west wall of Dabao Jigong Hall describe the life scenes of weaving, fishing, dancing while murals on north wall depict the figures of officials, bailiffs, butchers and prisoners, the vivid and true-to-life pictures of the Ming Dynasty.
The stone city is located at the gorge of the Jinsha River of Yulong County, 110 kilometers north of Lijiang City. It is so named because the hundred-odd Naxi households inhabit in an independent mushroom-shaped giant stone and the city is surrounded by cliffs and precipices in its three sides. The stone slope with one side inserts directly into the Jinsha River and so people can only enter and exit via its south and north stone gates. It is really a city with natural barriers.
Joseph F•Rock, copy writer of National Geographic, came to China since the twenties of the 20th century, and lived 27 years in Lijiang successively, doing investigation and exploration. He set up the base camp of exploring team in today’s Yuhu Village at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Baish Township of Yulong County. The house Rock once lived and many things left over by him remain intact in the village.
The museum with the features of Dongba culture, close to the Black Dragon Pool Park, is arranged according to the development of the residential houses of Naxi people. The Jade Spring and natural landscape of the west foot of Xiangshan Mountain are fully utilised for the opening up of the traditional residential houses of different periods, such as caves for Neoanthropus, nests and cave dwellings and half cave dwellings from the north to the south. And at the same time the folk custom and religious sites of offering sacrifices to the heaven, wind and god of nature have also been arranged for the performance of Dongba sacrificial ceremonies. In the museum, a lot of pictures on Dongba culture, religious books, paintings, ritual implements, and old production tools and daily utensils of Naxi people are exhibited.