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Pingyao still retains its urban layout from the Ming and Qing dynasties,conforming to a typical ba gua pattern. More than 300 sites in or near the city have ancient ruins. The city has over a hundred streets and lanes, lined with close to 4,000 17th–19th century shops and residences. The streets and storefronts still largely retain their historical appearance.

The city walls of Pingyao were constructed in 1370 The town is accessed by six barbican gates, one each on the north and south walls and two each on the east and west walls. This pattern is similar to that of a turtle (the head, tail and four legs), earning Pingyao the moniker "Turtle City." The walls measure about 12 m high, with a perimeter of 6,163 m. Aside from the four structured towers at the four corners, there are also 72 watchtowers and more than 3,000 battlements.

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Additional Photos by Gerrit van der Linden (Gerrit) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6234 W: 94 N: 10411] (59968)
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