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27 Pai Fang(monumental arched gateways) have stood in the history of the block around Wuma street, 3 of them devoted to a Longwan-district local - Wang Zan, the Shang Shu(equivalent to today minister) in the Ming Empire.
Source:温州三十六坊 | Author:Wenzhoudaily | Publish time:2018-08-21 | 8905 Views: | Share:
The old downtown area in Wenzhou used to be a forest of Pai Fang.The Wenzhou's local chronicle from Hongzhi era(the ninth emperor in Ming Dynasty) — Wenzhou Fu Zhi accounted 109 "Fang Men"...

Among all the works that accrued to Wang Zan's fame, those extant are Compendium of Orthodox Teachings, Oubin Anthology, Thesis on the Five Classics, Dongxiang Anthology of Proses, and the local chronicle he co-authored with Cai Fang — Wenzhou Fu Zhi.

The family temple of Wang Zan

It is indeed a great loss that the three Pai Fang for Wang Zan in Wuma Street evaporated into the intangibility of the past, but fortunately, the Wang family temple and Bang Yan Bridge in his hometown are still in good shape available to be experienced .

Pai Fang, aka Pai Lou, is an architecture in the form of arched gateway for memorial purposes, most rife in the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

All the Pai Fang in the Wuma block were set up under administrative decrees, most of them flaunting a certain good deed worthy of an exemplar. The generic “Fang Men(Pai Fang)” was later specified into particular species — “Fang Biao”(of display, memorial, direction and signpost functions), “Jing Yi Men”(function as direction and signpost while mostly in honorable memorial and display of virtuous males), “Jing Jie Men”(function as direction and signpost while mostly in honorable memorial and display of virtuous females), “Fang Xiang”(established at alley ends signaling direction and administrative division as well as commemoration and honorable display).

Time went by, the current Wuma block has been sterilized from all the Pai Fangs that once patronized its lanes and alleys, the only trace left is an impalpable name for one of the locations — “Deng Xuan Fang”.