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Qixian is located in the central part of the Jinzhong Basin, on the east bank of the Fenhe River, and at the northern piedmont of Taiyue Mountain. The county seat of Qixian is 57 kilometers from Taiyuan City. The Datong-Puzhou Railway cuts through Qixian, and five national and provincial level roads meet here, making the county an important transportation pivot in Shanxi Province. For the fertile land, plenty of water resources and abundant products, the county is reputed as Golden Jixian.

First built in the Taihe reign (477-499) of Emperor Xiaoyi in the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534), Qixian has a history of more than 1,500 years. The county draws wide attention from all walks of life with its compact layout and refined architectural craftsmanship. In recent years, many shoooting staffs of TV and film came here to screen outer door scenes. Higher education institutes like the Tongji University in Shanghai and Shanghe Urban Construction College took to streets and residential houses in Qixian that reflect the architectural style of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties as their samples in teaching, and sent teachers and students to do on-the-spot researches and study.

The Qixian ancient city is 850 meters long from east to west, and 700 meters long from south to north with a perimeter of 3 kilometers. Since the whole city is shaped like a black gauze cap worn by ancient officials in China, Qixian is also known as the Black Gauze Cap City. In ancient times, the city wall was all built of bricks and had a moat surrounding it. Due to wars and weathering, the city wall was long gone, but the buildings inside the wall are still well preserved.

The ancient city combines ancient streets and alleys, ancient temples, ancient stores and ancient residential houses into an integral whole, forming a magnificent, complete ancient building complex, and featuring a compact layout. It is the historical witness of Qixian's commercial prosperity in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, and also rare real object materials for the research into Chinese ancient county structure, street planning and residential house construction and layout of commercial outlets.

Qixian was proclaimed as a national level historical and cultural city by the State Council in January 1994.

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