Official Website of Hangzhou Tourism Commission

Since ancient times Hangzhou has been a most prosperous city. In 1138 AD, the government of the Southern Song Dynasty settled its capital at Hangzhou and stayed there for approximately 150 years until its end.

Now, with the launch of the Southern Song Dynasty Imperial Town, Hangzhou city will provide citizens and tourists with a window in which to see the cultural relics of its Southern Song Dynasty and to learn more about life at that time.

Location of Southern Song Dynasty Imperial Town

Compared with other provincial theme towns, the Southern Song Dynasty Imperial Town is located at the city center. Positioned at the core protection site of Southern Song Dynasty Lin’an City Site, the Southern Song Dynasty Imperial Town has a planned area of 3.1 square kilometers and includes famous historical sites such as Mantou Hill, Southern Song Dynasty Imperial Street and Qinghefang Historical Street.

What to Expect at the Imperial Town

Free Circular Movie in Drum Tower

The Drum Tower is said to be built in the time of Qian Liu, the King of Wuyue. It was also the south gate of the imperial city, and was called Chaotian Men. In November the Drum Tower will be transformed into a venue in which you can experience what imperial life was like in the Southern Song Dynasty. The tower will also house relics and architecture from the Southern Sony Dynasty and showcase circular movies which use 3D and VR technologies to teach us all about this dynasty.

At the end of November the Southern Song culture exhibition will go live as will Yueju Opera which will be staged at Wangxian’ge Pavilion, opposite the Drum Tower, for free every weekend.

Travel Back in Time to the Southern Song Dynasty

Starting from the end of November, in Labazi Lane, there will be three walls dedicated to art – The Old Time, The Old Anecdotes and The Intangible Gallery from which visitors can experience what street life and old Hangzhou was really like.

The Emperor’s Seal, the Best Souvenir

The emperor’s seal is the most aristocratic souvenir in the imperial town. The Chihu-featured* rosewood seal “Shou Ming Yu Tian (Mandate of Heaven)” is designed and made by artists from Xiling Seal-Engravers’ Society, the Azure Dragon-featured* porcelain seal “Tai Ping Sheng Shi (Halcyon Days)” is designed by Longquan Official Kiln – one of the accredited G20 souvenir producers, and the Black Tortoise-featured* bronze seal “Jiu Wu Zhi Zun (the Imperial Throne)” is produced by the only successor of the intangible culture heritage Zhu Bingren Bronze. Here, visitors can buy seals and wish for good luck.

* Chihu is a kind of dragon and a commonly-used pattern in jade ware starting from the Chinese Warring States Period.

* Azure Dragon and Black Tortoise are two symbols of Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations.

Travel by Rickshaw

Starting from Oct. 20th, visitors will have the chance to travel by rickshaw to visit the town’s intangible heritage shops. The two stops, each home to three rickshaws, are set at North Minor Square of the Drum Tower and the intersection of Datong Lane and Hefang Street.

The route will pass by Datong Lane, Huichun Tang, Southern Song Dynasty Cultural Experiential and another 13 relic sites and old-fashioned shops. The tour will take about 20 to 30 minutes. In addition to sitting in the rickshaw reminiscing the olden times, one can also listen to the audio introduction by scanning the QR code on the rickshaw.

Changing of the Guard Performance

Starting from Oct.20th, the Southern Song Dynasty’s changing of the guard show will be performed by soldiers every day at 9 a.m. and in the following fashion: a troop of armed soldiers will walk out of the Drum Tower, then the leader will step up to the tower and read His Majesty’s Decree.

Once the leader finishes, horns will be played out loud and the troops will drill to the powerful rhythm of beating drums. The show of changing of the guard will last for 15 minutes and special ceremonies will be arranged on important festivals.