Luoquan ancient town
The 500-meter-long old street in Luoquan is a must-go place in the town. Wood houses in gray tiles line on both sides of the street. There are more than 10 busy teahouses in the street. Luoquan people are hardworking, simple and friendly. You can sit here in any of the teahouses, drinking tea and listening to the old people telling their glorious history in perfect Tianfu dialect (Tianfu, meaning the land of abundance, is another name of Sichuan).
The history of Luoquan dates back to Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC). The salt industry in the town developed to its most prosperous period during the reign of Emperor Guangxu (reign time: 1875-1909), when there were 1,500 salt wells. The well salt produced in Luoquan won the gold prize in the World’s Fair in 1925. Merchants bustled in the town, while other industries also developed well at that time. The Salt Deity Temple, first built in 1868 witnessed the prosperity of the town. Luoquan people worshiped Guangzhong as the salt deity and offered sacrifice for the statue of him [Guanzhong, an official of Qi Kingdom (479-502), did a lot to promote the development and management of salt industry of the kingdom]. On the left and right sides of the salt deity is the statue of Guanyu and the fire deity, both as the assisting deities of the salt gods. The temple has three layers of brims and upturned wings. On the roof of the main hall is a sculpted picture of a host of dragons playing and competing to take hold of the treasure. The picture still looks vivid and lively even after a hundred years’ weathering.
Today the Salt Deity Temple is the gathering place for the local people. Entering the temple gate and crossing the ancient stage, you can see the wide square in front of the temple, around which are the side buildings and the corridor. Stepping on the steps and get into the main hall, you can see a dooryard. Looking up there, you can see white clouds floating in the blue sky. Ten thick wood stakes support the temple. Weeds on the eaves wave in the wind, as if whispering the stories of the old town.
Walking leisurely around in Luoquan town, you can enjoy the simple life of the local people.