Brief of Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal
There are two wonders in China, one is the Great Wall, and the other is the Grand Canal. For its size and grandeur, the Grand Canal has always been regarded as the pride of Chinese people and a symbol of Chinese cultural achievement. As the earliest, greatest and longest artificial river in the world, the Beijing Hangzhou Grand Canal of great historical and cultural importance.
The Grand Canal has a history of 1,300 years with its eldest part dating back to the 5th century BC. It’s also known as the Beijing-Hangzhou Canal which appropriately starts in Beijing and ends in Hangzhou. The Grand Canal passes through Tianjin City and the Provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, and links the two longest rivers in China --- the Yellow River and Yangtze River. The total length of the Grand Canal is 1,794 kilometers and it took 1,799 years to form its current shape and size.
The Grand Canal was first dug to transport grain and luxuries to Beijing. Later, it was used by merchants to ship commodities which made the its corridor develop into a prosperous economic belt. Meanwhile, it served as a powerful force for unifying Chinese culture and integrating Chinese politics. The Emperor’s River was another name given to the Grand Canal by foreign visitors because of its strong connection with numerous Chinese Emperors. In Chinese history, many Emperors from different dynasties made ship-trips along the Grand Canal to Southern China. In the Qing Dynasty, Kangxi and Qianlong Emperors made twelve adventurous trips to the south.
The Grand Canal’s significant role in China’s culture, economy and politics has blessed it with numerous historical and cultural landscapes and earned it the title ---- “the Gallery of Chinese History, Ancient Technology, and Local Customs”.
Though some parts of the Grand Canal have been blocked, the Jiangsu-Zhejiang portion remains open for transportation. Many scenic spots and historic sites along the canal have made it a hot tourist route.
Here are some of its tourist attractions that are not to be missed:
The Park of Fuyicang Site (富义仓遗址公园)
Gao’s Private Garden (高家花园)
Xiangji Temple (香积寺)
Qingsha Town (青莎古镇)
The Historical Culture Street West of the Gongchen Bridge (拱宸桥西历史文化街区)
The Canal Plaza (运河广场)
The Walking Street on Taizhou Road (台州路步行街)
Private Houses along the Canal-side Straight Street (小河直街民居)
The Leisure Walking Street on Dadon Road (大兜路休闲步行街)
The Cityscape Belt on the Eastern Canal Bank (运河东岸城市景观带)
The Historical Preservation Belt on the Western Canal Bank (运河西岸历史保护带)