Zhujia Jiao Water Town is extolled as the Shanghai's Venice, located in a suburb of Shanghai City, this ancient water town is well-known all over the country, with a history of over 1700 years. Covering an area of 47 square kilometers, the little fan-shaped town glimmers like a bright pearl in the landscape of lakes and mountains.
Endowed with another elegant name - "Pearl Stream" - the little town is the best-preserved among the four ancient towns in Shanghai. Unique old bridges across bubbling streams, small rivers shaded by willow trees, small wooden boats floating on the water, ancient temples distance themselves from the noisy, and gardens dotted with elegant folk houses… people who have been living in the bustle and hustle of the modern big city to this brand-new world will be full of antiquity, leisure and tranquility.
What to See in Zhujiajiao?
1. Bridges in the town
It is said that to visit Zhujiajaio without seeing the bridges means that you have not really been to Zhujiajiao at all! Bridges in the town are distinctive and old, built during Ming and Qing Dynasties. The old town is thoroughly connected by 36 delicate spans in different shapes and styles, from wooden to stone to marble.
Fangsheng Bridge (Setting-fish-free Bridge) is the longest, largest and tallest stone bridge, with five apertures in the Shanghai area. This bridge was built in 1571. On the bridge stands a stone tablet named Dragon Gate Stone, which is engraved with 8 coiling dragons encircling a shining pearl. On top of the bridge are 4 lifelike stone lions.
Lang Bridge (Veranda Bridge), also named Huimin Bridge, is the only wooden bridge and the most featured span in this town. It has wooden bars on the two sides and upturned eaves above, just like a narrow corridor.
2. One Famous Street
A famous street in the town is the Beidajie, which was built during the Ming and Qin dynasty. It is flanked by the old shops featured the architectural style of the two dynasties. Red lanterns hung high over the shops' doors. This busy street is the best location to choose your local tourist souvenirs
3. Two Famous Gardens
There are two famous gardens in Zhujajiao: one is Kezhiyuan, another Zhuxiyuan. The former is old and big while the latter is modern and elegant. Kezhiyuan is a manor garden with many old buildings, covering an area of 6.4 hectare. This private garden was built by Mawenqing in 1912, as its name means in Chinese "part plant and part study in the garden", Kezhiyuan has more than 200 old buildings include library, halls, pavilions, towers, corridor with calligraphic stele, studio, rooms, studies, and zigzag bridges. In addition, the garden has vegetable field, rockeries and a very beautiful lotus pool. Its layout is very unique and difficult to find another in China. Zhuxiyuan, located at the end of the east town, built in 1956, occupies an area of 4.67 hectare. This beautiful garden is divided into three parts: Spring Garden, Fall Garden and Winter Garden. It is famous for the tranquil pools, ancient tombs, old trees, pavilions, rockeries, diverse bridges and the stone carving of the twelve animals of Chinese birth year. Besides, the gardens is equipped with restaurants, teahouses, shops and children's playground .
4. Three Temples in the Town
The three temples in Zhujiajiao are so famous that all people who live in the Shanghai area know them. The first one is Baoguo Temple, which is a branch of the Shanghai Jade Temple. It boasts its three treasures: the statue of Sakyamuni that made of the Burmese white jade, the white jade statue of Avalokiteshvara presented by Singapore and the ginkgo trees at least have lived one thousand years old. The second one is the Town God's Temple with grey tiles, yellow wall, dragon-like eaves, the propitious bottle gourd on the roof and the down-to-floor lattice windows. This two-hundred-year-old temple also has its three treasures namely the bracket stage, the wood-carved beams and the large size vertical painted scroll (this one had been dilapidated). The third temple is named Yuanjin Chanyuan or Niannian Miao, built during 1341-1368 near a river. The temple is renowned for its Buddha statues, paintings and handwriting by famous penmen.
5. 26 Old Lanes
The number of old lanes in Zhujiajiao Town is actually more than 26; they are connected by the stone-paved streets or crisscrossed by each other. Rambling in the lanes, you will feel that you are lost in a maze. Whosoever, from home or abroad all enjoy looking for their gads in these old lanes.