The Bridge to the World

2018-09-07


 
Recently, an advertisement of Hangzhou’s Xiaoshan district was showcased on the large screen in New York’s Times Square. As one of the most densely-populated intersections in the world, Xiaoshan is drawing the attention of people from all over the world. The image depicted in the advertisement was Siting Bridge in Xianghu (lake region).

   

Siting Bridge, with its oriental charm, spans the lake and in doing so narrates the bridge culture of more than 8000 years. When the advertisement was issued, a flood of media reports were also published overseas. Why can Siting Bridge defeat hundreds of other bridges as the chosen image and what stories lie behind it?
Siting Bridge, 92 meters long, 21.6 to 17.6 meters wide and 10.7 meters high, is famous for its four pavilions named Liangchen (wonderful times), Meijing (beautiful scenery), shangxin (jolly mood) and Leishi (happy things). There is a story behind the name of the bridge. It is said that Xie Lingyun, a well-known poet in the period of Southern Dynasty (AD420-AD589), once imitated the tone of another famous poet Caopi to create several poems and wrote down in the preface “Liangchen, Meijing, shangxin and Leishi - four pleasant things that are hard to exist together.”
Along the two sides of the stone handrails are small lion statues, that look imposing from afar but when you come near are, in fact, rather tame. Rough lines of the bridge look considerably lovely, echoing the magnificent scenery of Xianghu.


Xianghu, with its wide range of creeks among mountains and lakes, has many bridges stemming from ancient times, making it a bridge museum with countless stories, and the long history and variety of bridges constitutes a unique bridge culture with local characteristics.