Brief of Stories of 10 Bridges straddling the Grand Canal Hangzhou
The following 10 bridges of all materials, sizes and shapes are jewels in the crown of the Beijing Hangzhou Grand Canal (Hangzhou Section). If they can talk, each will has a long story to tell.
No.1. Guangji Bridge (广济桥)
Hailing from Tangqi Water Town in the north suburb of Hangzhou, Guangji Bridge is an iconic landmark of the Grand Canal.
No.2. Qingfang Bridge(轻纺桥)
Steps away from Hangzhou Arts & Crafts Museum and Yunhe Tiandi (Canal World) is Qingfang Bridge. Bronze statues of relief patterns are used to depict the contribution of emperors, kings and poets related to this canal, such as the Qing-era Emperor Qin Shihuang and the Tang-dynasty poet Li Bai.
No.3. Gongchen Bridge (拱辰桥)
Stretching over the Grand Canal in east-west direction, Gongchen Bridge marks the south terminus of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal. It is the largest stone bridge in Hangzhou.
Hangzhounese cherish deep affection for this bridge. From some sense, it stands for hometown, sweet home and can always evoke fond memories.
Gongchen Bridge is also steeped in history and has royal association. “Gongchen” suggest “salute the emperors”. Each autumn, a fireworks display will be hosted, attracting visitors by thousands. In 2013, this activity was banned, partly due to the accidents for some spectators were hurt by the fireworks, partly because it is a waste of money.
Gongchen Bridge sprung into being in the 4th year during the reign of Emperor Chongzhen in the Ming Dynasty (1631). In 1888, during the reign of Emperor Guangxu, it went through a complete restoration. At 98m long and 16m high, it consists of 3 arches. It borders Qiaoxi Historic Block to the west and Yunhe Culture Square to the east. This area is one of the top three cultural and entertainment centers along the Grand Canal (Hangzhou section). 6 state-of-the-art museums, boutique restaurants, unique shops and time-frozen alleyways await you.
No.4. Dengyu Bridge(登云桥)
As early as the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), Dengyu Bridge was built in its present site. This wooden bridge once featured pavilions with upturned eaves. During the ensuring dynasties, this bridge was restored and rebuilt for several times. The present Dengyu Bridge is a featureless modern structure. The only highlight is the statue dedicated to a Taoist deity. He stands on a turtle and a snake, allegedly he can bring good harvest and agreeable weather. Nearby Attraction: Xiaohe Historic Street, Qingsha Park
No.5. Daguan Bridge (大关桥)
Daguan Bridge, known as “Yong’an Bridge” during the 12th century, spanned preciously over the Grand Canal. People risked their lives to cross it. A man named Chen Decheng came up with a plan to change this plight. He persuaded a monk called Fan Hai and raised a big sum of money to rebuild it. Within one year’s backbreaking effort, a brand new bridge surfaced, and was named as Zhongxing Yong’an Bridge. 1955 saw this bridge gave way to a concrete version, the present day Daguan Bridge. Daguan Bridge is not far from Dadou Road Historic Block.
No.6. Jiang zhang Bridge(江涨桥)
South of Daguan Bridge is Jiangzhang Bridge, steps from Fuyi Granary, Xiangji Temple and Imperial Wharf. It emerged during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) as a three-arch stone bridge. Barges crowded this section of the Grand Canal, weaving a boisterous trade and transportation scene. Its present version, a concrete-and-steel structure, is less romantic. Northwest of this bridge stands a Water Bus Stop. Boats stopping at main attractions depart and arrive at this point on a daily basis.
No.7. Desheng Bridge(德胜桥)
During the Southern Song Dynasty, a famous general chased two betrayers and sentenced them to death on the bridge. As the legend goes, Miao Fu and Liu Zhengyan launched a rebel and forced emperor Gaozong to abdicate. Liang Hongyu moved reinforcement from her husband Han Shizhong and defeated rebels on the bridge. Since then, the bridge was named Victory Bridge (Desheng Bridge).
No.8. Chao Wang Bridge(潮王桥)
Chao Wang Bridge was built in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) to commemorate, Shi Gui, the courageous and heroic king of tide hailing from the Tang Dynasty (823), whom had saved the lives of many people. Today, statues depicting him tower above the Grand Canal sparkle tourists’ imagination.
No.9. Zhao Hui Bridge(朝晖桥)
Fashioned as a harp with beautiful curves, Zhao Hui Bridge was built in the Southern Song Dynasty(1127-1279). It spans 228.2 m long and 27.7m wide. The modern Zhao Hui Bridge is spacious, and features 15 steel bars.
No.10. West lake Culture Plaza Culture Bridge(西湖文化广场桥)
West Lake Culture Plaza Culture Bridge is around 20min from Wulinmen Wharf, a key cruise terminal and hub of water transportation. This bridge leads to Zhejiang Science and Technology Museum, Zhejiang Nature Museum, Zhejiang Provincial Museum, all nestle at the West Lake Culture Square.