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Old Memories of the Grand Canal Ⅱ 2019-07-16
Guangji Bridge (广济桥)

There are no written records regarding the time of the bridge being constructed. However, legend has it that Guangji Bridge was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) and all the credit goes to a monk surnamed Chen. He collected money to build the bridge and gained support from the then emperor’s mother, concubines and high-ranking officials.

For the past 500 years, Guangji Bridge has undergone many renovations. The present bridge is a seven-arch stone bridge with 80 stone steps. On its railings are decorated with columns with exquisite lotus patterns. The bridge is not just a marvelous piece of art, but an essential part of the glorious history of the Grand Canal.

Qiaoxi Historic Block (桥西历史街区)

Qiaoxi Historic Block used to be a most prosperous wharf and the distribution center of commodities, with groceries, teahouses and factories packing the block. Such famous factories as Zhejiang Linen Textile Factory (浙江麻纺织厂), Hangzhou Silk Printing and Dyeing Factory (杭州丝绸联合印染厂), Hangzhou First Cotton Weaving Factory (杭州第一棉纺厂) and Huafeng Paper Factory (华丰造纸厂) were gathering there at the time. The block is a strong witness of the prosperous time of Hangzhou. Now, it has become an excellent place to view the scenery of the Grand Canal, old-style buildings, lanes and streets by the Grand Canal.

Xiangji Temple (香积寺)

Originally known as "Xingfu Temple (兴福寺)", Xiangji Temple was built in 978 during the Northern Song Dynasty. The present name was bestowed by Zhenzong Emperor of the Song Dynasty (宋真宗). Back then, it enjoyed high prestige in Hangzhou Buddhism and was the gathering place of pilgrims to Lingyin Temple (灵隐寺) and Tianzhu (天竺). Now it is the only temple lying in downtown area and still enjoys people's admiration.

Xiaohe Straight Street (小河直街)

As early as the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), Xiaohe Straight Street is the distribution center of commodities, and a transfer station for water and land transportation. The traditional residences and shops left behind by this history are important cultural elements of the Grand Canal. Visitors can take a boat to visit the place, and walk through small lanes and streets to experience the traditional life of the families by the Grand Canal.

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