Lifestyle and Entertainment in Yangzhou
The Chinese city of Yangzhou has been of great cultural significance for many centuries, despite its destruction by invaders in the 17th and 19th centuries. It was a site of virtual pilgrimage for aspiring members of the Chinese educated class during the Ming and Qing periods. Moreover, because it was one of the foremost commercial centres during the late imperial period, it was the place where the merchant and scholarly classes merged to set new standards of taste and to create a cultural milieu quite unlike that of other cities, even other major centres in the region. The luxurious elegance of its gardens and the eminence of its artistic traditions meant that Yangzhou set aesthetic standards for the entire realm for much of the late imperial age. Over the years, particular regional forms of art and entertainment arose here, too, some surviving into the present time.
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