Site of Laosicheng Tusi Domain

The Site of Laosicheng Tusi Domain is 12.4 miles (20 kilometers) east of Yongshun County, Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Hunan Province. With a total area of 62 acres (25 hectares), it is the largest, oldest, and best-preserved Tusi site in China. In 2001, the Site of Laosicheng Tusi Domain was listed as a key national historical and cultural relic under state protection. On July 4, 2015, the site was listed as a world cultural heritage, together with the Site of Tangya Tusi Domain and the Site of Hailongtun Tusi Fortress.
 

History

The Tusi system was a hereditary political system in southwest China by the central government to rule ethnic minorities. Because the chieftain was called Tusi, the political system was called Tusi system. The Laosicheng Tusi in Yongshun was established in 910 of the Later Liang Dynasty (907-923) during the Five Dynasties and Ten States Period (907-960), and abolished in the fourth year (1727) of the reign of Emperor Yongzheng in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It lasted 818 years, 32 generations, and went through 9 dynasties; the chieftains were all from the Peng family.
 

Structural Layout

The Laosicheng Tusi Domain, also known as Sicheng or Fushicheng, was the economic, political, military and cultural center of West Hunan in the past. In its heyday, the site consisted of the inner city and the outer city, including eight streets and ten alleys. It was comprised of the Imperial Sleeping Palace, the Hall of Imperial Throne, the Palace of Supreme Principle, the Longevity Palace, the Amusement Palace, the Mansion of the Great General, and the Mansion of the Prime Minister, etc. All the streets in the city were paved with russet pebbles to form the patterns of triangles, diamonds, and straight lines, which were distinctive features of the Tujia nationality. Presently, the survived relics in the site mainly include the Hall of the Patriarch, the Archway in Memory of Peng Ji'nan, the Ancestral Hall of the Peng Family, and the Tusi Ancient Tomb Complex. 
 

Hall of the Patriarch

Located in the south of the domain, the Hall of the Patriarch was built in the second year (937) during the Tianfu Period in the Later Jin Dynasty (936-946), and rebuilt in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It covers a total area of 694 square yards (580 square meters), with a length of 19 yards (17.5 meters), a width of 14 yards (13 meters) and a height of 66 feet (20 meters). The hall is entirely made of wood. The roof is decorated with exquisite terra-cotta tiles and sustained by 34 pillars. In front of the Golden Pillar in the hall is enshrined the statue of the Patriarch. As a typical building of the Tujia Minority, the hall is very magnificent and traditional.  
 

Archway in Memory of Peng Ji'nan

First constructed during the Jiajing Period in the Ming Dynasty, the Archway in Memory of Peng Ji'nan stands on a lawn in the south of the domain. It was erected in praise of the 26th Chieftain Peng Ji'nan for his great success in the fight against pirates. On the archway was engraved the inscriptions "Long-lasting Peace for the Later Generations". In the 33rd year (1554) of the Jiajing Period in the Ming Dynasty, the eighteen-year-old Peng Ji'nan led five thousand soldiers to the coastal area in southeast China, and fought against the pirates. The battle succeeded owing to his flexibility, bravery, and wise leadership. That was a very cheerful victory because it ended the conflict and brought peace to the locals.
 

Ancestral Hall of the Peng Family

Situated at the center of the Site of Laosicheng Tusi Domain, the Ancestral Hall of the Peng Family was built in the nineteenth year (1591) during the Yuanli Period in the Ming Dynasty by the 24th Chieftain Peng Yuanjin. The memorial tablets and wood figurines of the supreme governors are consecrated in the hall. The regulations enacted by them are also exhibited here. A 656-feet-long (200-meter-long) stairway in front of the hall leads to the main street. The stairway is made up of more than 30 stone steps which are divided into five parts by four platforms. It looks very splendid! There are also three ancient osmanthus trees before the hall, which are said to be planted during the rule of chieftains. The Site of Laosicheng Tusi Domain is filled with the fragrance of osmanthus flowers when they are in full blossom in August. It is quite pleasant!
 

Ancient Tusi Tomb Complex 

The Ancient Tusi Tomb Complex centers on the Zijin Mountain. It has been listed as a key historical and cultural relic under provincial protection. Surrounded by walls, there are 109 tombs of chieftains and their families, among which more than thirty have been excavated. The tombs vary greatly in sizes in accordance with the status of people who were buried in. In front of these tombs stand human and horse statues. On the walls are exquisite patterns of flowers, grass, dragons, and phoenixes. Inside the tombs, one can see black wooden coffins are hanging on the iron hooks. In addition, there are a great variety of burial accessories, including gold flowers, ornaments, and jade articles. It is very fascinating!
 

How to get to the Site of Laosicheng Tusi Domain in Yongshun County

 From Jishou:
Take a long-distance bus to Yongshun County at the Xikou Bus Station for about CNY 40. The long-distance bus is available from 7:00 to 17:00 with an interval of about an hour. The duration is about 2.5 hours. Upon arrival at the Yongshun Bus Station, take a taxi to the Laosicheng Station for about CNY 5, and then take a minibus to Laosicheng for about CNY 15.

 From Zhangjiajie:
Take a long-distance bus to Yongshun County at the Zhangjiajie Bus Station for CNY 25. Upon arrival at the Yongshun Bus Station, take a taxi to the Laosicheng Station for about CNY 5, and then take a minibus to Laosicheng for about CNY 15. The long-distance bus is available from 7:00 to 16:30; the frequency is 30 minutes and the duration is about 2 hours.
    
Ticket Price CNY 118 (including visiting the scenic area, museum, and taking battery car)
Free for children below 4.3 feet (1.3 meters).
 

Recommended Nearby Attractions

1. Phoenix Ancient Town
2. Zhangjiajie Scenic Spot
3. Jiaoding Mountain
4. Limu Lake
5. Ziling Mountain
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