|Xuanya Cun: Cliff Village in Pan’an|
The Geological Society of China has recently announced the first batch of 26 geological and cultural towns and villages, and the village of Shijiazhuang in Fangqian Town of Pan’an was included. Popularly known online as the Xuanya Cun (lit. Cliff Village), it is the first national-level geological and cultural village of Jinhua.
Located southeast of Fangqian, Shijiazhuang covers a total area of 3.57 square km. Due to the numerous volcanic eruptions of the Cretaceous Era, upper and lower layers of hard fused tuffaceous limestone formed in the area around Cliff Village. It’s the stratigraphic structure of the softer volcanic sedimentary rocks in the middle, however, that laid the foundation for the peculiar formation of landscape of Cliff Village.
Since the Cenozoic Era, under the combined action of the Earth’s internal and external forces, deep gorges have opened and the mountains have been divided into several terraces after long-term leveling. The middle softer layer of volcanic sedimentary rocks was molded by weather factors and resulted in a slight collapse of the upper volcanic rocks. This has shaped the actual scenery of Cliff Village which presents gentle terrain in the middle and scattered boulders above, surrounded by rocky bodies; the lower part of the cliff features a unique geological landscape. With 27 kinds of geological sites, the Cliff Village consists of a complex landscape of terraces, gorges, and flat streams rarely seen in the province and very rare in China overall.
Starting from the natural endowment of mountains, streams, forests, fields, and lakes, Fangqian values the geological resources of Cliff Village. Upon the concept of Geology Plus Eco-Tourism, Fangqian strives to make Cliff Village a model location for geological research and a benchmark location for rural revitalization. At present, a number of structures are ready to welcome visitors and tourists, and the highway connecting the village has also been widened and reconstructed.
A Pan’an County official said that since the adoption of the concept of “crystal water and verdurous hills are like silver and gold,” Cliff Village has realized vivid changes. The rise of rural tourism has also led to the development of surrounding villages, and geological culture has really become a crucial factor for local people to increase their income. (By Hu Zhenan, translated by Marco Lovisetto, edited by Mariam Ayad)