2004 and 2006 World Monuments Watch
The largest town on the former postal road between Beijing and Datong, Cockcrow was constructed in 1420 to protect the military and public post stations that served the northwest region of the Chinese empire. Although the Ming Period town suffered during the Cultural Revolution, locals managed to preserve a number of houses and temples whose carvings and wall paintings they protected by covering them with mudplaster and newspaper. Cockcrow is still inhabited, however, its buildings are in various states of decay. Seven out of 17 remaining original temples in the town are in danger of being lost unless a conservation masterplan for the site is developed and funds for its implementation are found.