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Wuxi Grand Canal(一)
2008-12-12 11:45:33   Source:太湖明珠网


Special editorial by THMZ
Xiang Xing: Paperwork/Photography /design  Jane Chen/Carol Hsu: Tanslator
 
The street from Wu Bridge to old Sanli Bridge along the Canal is called Wuqiao
East Road.It was once called Huangpudun Street  because by the side of the road in
the Canal there is Huangpudun.. 

Most shops at roadside sell ship and fishing utensils. What on the floor or on the wall are  the tarps, chains and paddle wheels. What on the ship seem to tell us that here was once a flourishing dock where the  merchant and civilian vessels lined with many masts and springboards.
 
Speaking of Wu Bridge, we must introduce its origin. 

Wu Bridge is called "WU" because it was paid and built by Wu Zijing,who was born in the 13 year of Emperor Tongzhi(1874). It was a pity that he died in Shanghai before the bridge was completed.In order to remember him, people in Wuxi called the bridge according to his family name.

Bird's eye view of Huangbudun
 
Wu Zijing, also known as Zi Jing,was from Anhui.He once  had opened a silk factory jointly with others.In the first year of Emperor Xuantong(1909),he established Yuankang Silk Factory together with He menglian and Zhu Dachun near Huishan Mountain Wuxi.Each year he must come to Wuxi to buy cocoons when cocoons were ready and did business for his silk factory.AS Yuankang Silk Factory situated at south bank of grand Canal,people had to rely on ferry to go across.But sometimes people were drowned.Seeing this he suggested to design and build a bridge copying Waibaidu Bridge of Shanghai. Construction of the bridge started in the spring of 1916 and it was completed in March of next year.The bridge costed   32324 yuan silver coins which were all paid buy Wu jingzi.
 
Shanghai Waibaidu Bridge is a steel frame structure,so is Wu Bridge.The iron beams  at the bridge surface were removed  when Wu bridge was renovated in 1965 and the bridge was renamed " the Liberation Bridge".Anyhow, history is written by people.In 1982 the bridge got this name again.The nearest renovation of Wu Bridge was in 1993 which got " Luban Award" from the Ministry of Construction.

Standing on Wu Bridge,one may look up at Hui Mountain and Xi Hill or look down at docks and Huangpudun.In the day time ships and boats can be seen shuttling on the old and new rivers.At night, flashing lights can be identified on the pavilion and eaves.
 
     
Wu Bridge of Wuxi was copied from Waibaidu Bridge
 
     
Waibaidu Bridge of Shanghai is in a steel frame structure
 
No ferry to Huang-free port

Walk down Wuqiao East Road for tens of meters, you can see there's a circular island in the canal, which is said to be left by Prince Chunshen in the Warring States period when doing treatment to Furong Lake.

Huangpudun, also known as the "small golden hill", has an area of 220 square meters. Every Wuxi people know about it but very few have stepped on it.
 
Night scenes of Huangbudun

In the south of Kunming lake in the Summer Palace, Beijing, there's a "Fenghuangdun (Phoenix pier)" which was a copy of Wuxi Huangpudun. I've heard that there's still a pavilion surrounded by weeping willows and peaches on the tiny island.
 
   
   
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