Harmonious With Water Ways-- Nanxun Ancient Town
On the list of Records of Gardens at the South of the Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River is Nanxun, the only town containing a total of five large gardens. Nanxun boasts numerous historic sites and enchanting natural landscapes, and has both a rich cultural heritage as well as the poetic, waterside charm seen in areas along the Yangtze River. Enjoying revered cultural and natural resources, Nanxun is known as the birthplace of many talented historical figures. During the Song, Ming and Qing dynasties, 41 successful candidates in the highest imperial examinations came out of Nanxun.
It is a good example for the human beings' residences being harmonious with the natural water environment.
History and Culture
With a history of 1400 years, Nanxun has a long story to tell about its splendid days of yore. Nanxun was a blooming town in the Southern Song Dynasty and by the reign of Emperor Jiajin of the Ming Dynasty, about a half century ago, it became one of Zhejiang Province's important commercial towns because of the development of the silk industry. Ancient poems refer to the town beautifully descriptive verse: "thousands of households gather here on this water town market, and fishing boats and merchant vessels call at it side by side." and "At the night market, you can buy water bamboo shoots and lotus roots, and in spring ships carry silks and brocades..."
It was called Xunxi in the 9th century; founded in the 13th century, the town turned into an important distributing center of farm and sideline products due to convenient transportation by water. During the 16th centuries, as the seeds of capitalism emerged firstly in the regions south of the Yangtze River, the silkworm raising and silk reeling industries were flourishing; the market was formed for raw silk trade; commodity economy was developed rapidly; and many merchants gathered in Nanxun, which became a powerful town in Jiangsu and Zhejiang.
Baijian Lou
The town's most famous structure is the 400-year-old Baijian Lou, literally meaning pavilion of 100 rooms, located in the town's northeast corner. Withstanding several centuries of war and turbulence, the buildings are amazingly well-preserved; stretching along 400 meters on both banks of the ancient canal which divides the town, the huge buildings still function as residences for locals.
Small, exquisite gardens are another special attraction of Nanxun, and Xiaolian Zhuang, or Liu's Garden, is one that certainly should not be missed by visitors. It was once the private garden of Liu Yong, a senior Qing Dynasty official. The garden is over 17,000 square metres, highlighted by a 5,000 square metre lotus pond within the building's centre. Tourists visiting the garden in summer are astonished by the pleasing green and red thickly dotted lotuses.
Jiaye Tang Hall Library
Jiaye Tang Hall Library is one of the three private libraries in zhejiang province. Around the library is a garden, lake with lotus, rockeries, pavilions and corridors, the main features of private gardens in south china are well presented here.
Admission fee: 60 RMB/person
Opening hours: all day
1. Take flight to Hangzhou and transfer to Hangzhou Bus Station.
2. Take bus in Hangzhou Bus Station right to Nanxun.
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