Xidi Village is known for its unique and elegant wooden houses: prettified walls preventing rain infiltration, black tiles recording the history of the town, decorative gate towers standing for the particular flavor of the architecture. Most of the 300 houses in the village were constructed in the Ming and Qing dynasties, of which 124 were well preserved, fully displaying the architectural style of Anhui Province.
The history of this village can be dated back to the Song Dynasty during the reign of emperor Huangyou. The original name of this village called Xichuan which mean West River because of the water courses flowing through it. Entering Xidi Village, people will find the obvious road patterns – main road just runs in east-west direction and is flanked by two parallel streets. Numerous narrow alley ways are braches of those major streets which may lead people into a mysterious world to explore further more. Small open spaces are confined to areas immediately in front of the main public buildings, such as the Hall of Respect, the Hall of Reminiscence, and the Memorial Archway of the Governor.
Because of the old-aged style, carvings in Xidi Village are very traditional in Chinese style which may not be found in other place. Carvings of stones, bricks and wood are not sold for tourists. They are parts of this ancient village. Door frames, lattice walls, columns and beams in the halls, all of these corners are decorated by those carvings. People can find a past smell from them. Rockeries, fish ponds, various parterres can be seen in the courtyard, where the ground is paved with cobbles. Well-arranged lanes, streams and architectures in Xidi are really garden-like scenery. Because of these historic factors, Xidi Village was declared a part of the “Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui” World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000.