xi's moments
Home | People

Great Wall guardian

A retiree has earned recognition for his commitment to protecting the iconic bulwark, Yang Feiyue reports.

By Yang Feiyue | China Daily | Updated: 2024-02-01 11:36

Cheng Yongmao demonstrates brick paving on the Great Wall.[Photo provided to China Daily]

After more than 20 years, he mastered the trade's techniques, such as mortaring, paving and trenching.

In 1991, he joined the district's park and ancient architecture restoration company, and participated in the reconstruction of the main hall of the Hongluo Temple, marking the beginning of his journey in the preservation of cultural heritage sites.

"It was completely different from what I had been doing before," he says.

The much bigger bricks used in the ancient temple, elegant decorative elements, such as rooftop ornaments shaped like creatures, and the use of glazed tiles were much more demanding in terms of skills, compared with the civilian construction work he'd done.

Fortunately, Cheng got to learn from Piao Xuelin, who was a senior engineer at the Palace Museum and a 15th-generation inheritor of the Xinglong School, a major carpentry and tiling shop involved in building the Forbidden City and other royal buildings in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.

Right after he cut his teeth on the ancient architectural restoration techniques under Piao's tutelage, he signed up for a three-month training program hosted by Beijing's construction authorities in October 1991.

Cheng systematically studied the evolution of ancient Chinese architecture, especially the royal styles of the Ming and Qing eras.

Although he didn't have a higher education diploma, his practical experience enabled him to readily take in the theories, which he says in turn improved his skills significantly.

Cheng picked up other skills, such as drawing blueprints using computers.

|<< Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next   >>|
Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349