Zhouzhuang---Tranquil and Unsophisticated
Situated in the modern world, Zhouzhuang is like an unreal place with ancient buildings and traditional folk customs. Surrounded by numerous rivers, there are deep cartilages and courtyards, stone bridges, traditional Chinese roofs and elegant mansions. The town is a typical ancient town with building styles in the lower reaches of Yangtze River. Floating on the river and appreciating the serene and quite landscape, you can feel the long history and pure living styles of the local people. With the beautiful sceneries, pristine customs and peculiar human landscapes, Zhouzhuang Ancient Town is a place of purity and tranquility. Walking on the old stone paths, you will find spiritual comfort and taste the precious quietness which is far away from the hustle and bustle.
History and Culture
Zhouzhuang is located in Kunshan city, Jiangsu Province. Its long history can be dated back to 1086. The town was only a small village at that time. As the commercial trading became increasingly important, Zhouzhuang was growing more and more prosperous. In Ming Dynasty, the town expanded to the west; in Qing Dynasty, there were more residents, and came out a lot of shops and stores. Although Zhouzhuang has gone through vicissitudes of more than 900 years, the original buildings are well-preserved. About 60 percent of the buildings are those of Ming and Qing Dynasty, with more than one hundred classical messuages and over 60 gate towers. Moreover, there are 14 ancient bridges with different features. All these elegant and exquisite buildings form into picturesque scenery.
Twin Bridges
Like other watery towns, Zhouzhuang Village has lots of bridges. The Twin Bridges, which comprise of Shide Bridge and Yongan Bridge, are the most famous and are considered the symbol of Zhouzhuang. Built in the Wanli era (1573-1619) of the Ming Dynasty, the two bridges had witnessed the changing of this small town. Shide Bridge is east-west and has a round arch, while Yongan Bridge is north-south and has a square arch. Crossing the two crisscross rivers (Yinzi Creek and Nabeishi River) and connecting at the middle, the Twin Bridges look like an old-style Chinese key.
Shen House
Shen House, the former residence of the prestigious rich man Shen Wansan in Ming Dynasty, is one of the most important places of Zhouzhuang Village. Shen Wansan became extremely rich in Ming Dynasty, he was a legend of this small town, and was also the pride of Zhouzhuang. The whole architectural complex is of the Qing's style and occupies an area of more than 2,000 square meters (half an acre). Over 100 rooms are divided into three sections and each one is connected by arcades and aisles.
Admission fee: 100RMB/person (8:00-16:30); 80RMB/person (17:00-21:00)
Opening hours: 8:00-21:00
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