A fire in the southwest of China has destroyed the 600-year-old Gongchen tower, part of an ancient city gate in Weishan county in Dali prefecture, Yunnan province.
The fire started at about 3 a.m. on Saturday. Firefighters struggled for nearly 2 hours to put out the flames. About 300 square meters of the architecture was burnt down. No causalities have been reported and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The Gongchen tower was a city gate tower, which was built in 1390 during the Ming Dynasty. It was listed as a key cultural protection site in Yunnan province. Last month, a fire engulfed an ancient Miao village in southwest China's Guizhou Province.
In 2006, China nominated the village as a UNESCO World Heritage site. And in January last year, Dukezong Ancient Town, in the famous resort county Shangri-la in Yunnan province, was also burned down in a fire. The so called "Moonlight City" is one of the most renowned resorts in Shangri-la, known for its well-preserved ancient Tibetan dwellings.
Source: CCTV [January 04, 2015]