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Recovering of historical buildings on Kulangsu Island[2016-09-01]

    Before the recovering, Huang Family Ancestral Hall was dilapidated and cluttered.
    And after the recovering, Huang Family Ancestral Hall is now rich in historical sense.
 
    Historical buildings are the soul of Kulangsu Island. Once entering these historical buildings, you feel like you have been put back to the past. And these historical buildings also have their own history.
 
    Huang Family Ancestral Hall was covered by provisional structures and had lost its own nature; Zhongde Taoist Temple was almost ruined by disorderly neighboring structures; and the Cliff Inscription of Sanhe Taoist Temple was occupied by residents’ trash. All these historical buildings with unique styles lost their original natures, for they were covered or occupied and battered in the long history. However, the good news is that many historical buildings were renovated by chance of the application for World Heritage.
 
    The surging waves of Kulangsu Island recounts the past and present. The reporter is going to visit two historical buildings to unveil them for you.
 
    A small path
 
    witnessed the renovation of the Ancestral Hall with a history of one century.
 
    The small path before No. 66 Shichang Road of Kulangsu Island may not expect to be so beautiful. Connected with Shichang Road and Haitan Road in its two ends, the small path was paved by clean stones, and the stone arch with a hint of classical flavor in the middle of the path brings people back to one hundred years ago, the time when the arch was built. The small path, interspersed with potted plants on both sides, is full of vigor.
 
    Which surprised it most is the renovated Ancestral Hall behind it. Several months ago, perhaps no one would figure out the Ancestral Hall.
 
    At that time, the Ancestral Hall was regarded as a normal residential building. The main hall is not very large, while divided into three rooms and one small hall. The two sides of the corridor were blocked up by concrete. A two- story building was built in the courtyard. Wires displayed in a messy and trash and sundries were here and there. Inside, the path next to fence were occupied by several small house in two sides, and one end of the path was sealed comprehensively. It was similar to square maze that another maze is already waiting for you.
 
    Perhaps only the indistinct words of Huang Family Ancestral Hall can tell its history.
 
    So, when those unordered structures demolished by professional workers from construction companies and all damages repaired, the Ancestral Hall showed its true nature, which surprised all the people.
 
    It is an ancestral hall with rich historic sense. The wooden structure courtyard is of traditional Southern Fujian architecture style, which was known as red-brick courtyard mansions. Characteristics of it could be found in details such as the main hall divided in three rooms, swallow-tail spinals on the roof and red bricks of external walls. A wooden plaque with four gilt words “Song Yun Li Jie” is hanged on the main hall.
 
    “Have been living here for so long, I knew little about its true nature.” Said a local man lived nearby with plaint.
 
    The reporter noticed that Huang Family Ancestral Hall will be opened to the public in recent days. What’s more, performances given by Xiamen Nanyin Troupe will be held in variable intervals.
 
    A huge stone
 
    embraced the ups and downs of time.
 
    History is not kept by historiographers and books only; it is also embraced in stones and cliff inscriptions. Located at the eastern foot of Beacon Hill in Kulangsu Island and the No. 57 Building in Guxin Road, Cliff Inscription about the Sanhe Taoist Temple’s Reconstruction is one of the examples.
 
    Its story can be traced back to a scenic spot in Kulangsu Island. Ruihuang Temple was expanded from Mazu’s temporal palace in Sanqiutian, Kulangsu Island, during the reign of Emperor Kangxi of Qing Dynasty. At that time, visitors are in an endless stream. While the good times did not last long. Ruihuang Temple declined all of a sudden with no one knows the reason. Until one day in 1803, the arrival of a Taiwanese called Wang Delu declared a new start of Ruihuang Temple.
 
    At that time, Wand Delu was chasing the fleets of Cai Qian, a head of the pirates. When berthing his fleets in Neicuo’ao Ferry Terminal, he went ashore the island and found the declined temple. While the temple had renamed as Sanhe Taoist Temple then. Wang Delu was touched and made a wish in Sanhe Taoist Temple that he would renovate the temple if Mazu blesses him with the battle. His wish came true and for the next years, he almost lost no battle and was rewarded by Emperor Jiaqing of Qing Dynasty as the Second Viscount, an official title that allows wearing Binocular Ling. In order to show gratitude to Mazu and keep his word, Wang Delu initiated a donation and donated his own salary and called upon merchants and the public to donate money for the reconstruction of Sanhe Taoist Temple. Besides, he wrote an article for its reconstruction and inscribed them on the cliff nearby.
 
    The 11.5-meter-tall cliff inscription, with a width of 6.4 meters, is the best preserved Cliff Inscription about the Sanhe Taoist Temple’s Reconstruction up to now, and it is also the largest cliff inscription found in Xiamen. (Reference to Ups and Downs of Sanhe Taoist Temple written by Zhan Zhaoxia in Sun news, March 31, 2016.)
 
    Later, the land use rights of Sanhe Taoist Temple was purchased by foreigner and its glories were no longer any more. In recent years, residential buildings and structures were built around the cliff inscription. And weeds and trash before it covered part of the contents.
 
    During the renovation and promotion of historical relics in Kulangsu Island, the structures and trash around the cliff inscription were removed to reappear the true nature of it. Easy path was set up, and the green plants and stones put on the path help the visitors enjoy the cultural landscape with much comfort.
 
    For several years, my friends and I often went here to visit the cliff inscription, but to our pities, we did not make it,” said Kang, a visitor who went to the island for many times with the aim to see the contents of the cliff inscription comprehensively. He said that they could only see the cliff inscription from one angle and it is impossible to see its full content. Now, visitors can appreciate the cliff inscription carefully since its true nature reappears, which is an exciting thing.