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Four 20th Century Chinese Architectural Heritages in Hangzhou 2018-10-10
The Chinese Society of Cultural Relics together with the Chinese Society of Architecture have recently announced the 100 new Chinese architectural heritages of the 20th century. Including the former 98 architectural heritages, published on September 29th, 2016, there are 198 architectural heritages in total. They are the most significant witnesses of Chinese history and the following four can be found in Hangzhou.

 Qiantang River Bridge (钱塘江大桥) 

Qiantang River Bridge, the first modern iron bridge, was built by Mao Yisheng(茅以升)1896-1989, a famous civil engineer in China.

With1.6 million dollars of funding and 925 days of tense construction, the bridge welcomed its first user on November 17th, 1937, but after 89 days, it was destroyed by the turbulence of the anti-Japanese War. It was not until the arrival of peace that the bridge regained its former appearance.

It is regarded as a great historical monument in the history of Chinese bridges. Even today, it invites over ten thousand cars and sixty large vehicles to pass every day.

It is not only a survivor from the blazes of the past, but also a witness to the history of the anti-Japanese war and is the symbol of a most tenacious spirit.

Address: Dujia Village, Puyan Town, Hangzhou (杭州市浦沿镇杜家村)

 Xiling Seal Engravers’ Society(西泠印社) 

Located at the southwest of Solitary Hill in the West Lake Scenic Area, the Xiling Seal Engravers’ Society is the oldest, most successful and influential folk-art association. Founded by Ye Zhou, Ding Ren and other famous artists in 1904, and named after the adjacent Xiling Bridge, the Xiling Seal-engravers’ Society serves as a wonderful place to study engraving, painting and calligraphy.

Facing the West Lake and leaning against the famous Solitary Hill, it boasts abundant natural scenery which is why the empire of Qing Dynasty originally built the garden here. In the garden, the winding paths lead to a secluded quiet place, and exquisite architectural masterpieces such as Sizhao Pavillion, Huayan Minaret are delicately dotted about.

Sizhao Pavillion was built by a local official in the beginning of the Song Dynasty and was moved to Liangtang Hall in 1924 when the Xiling Seal Engravers’ Society was restored. Huayan Minaret was built by Hongsan Master, a monk of Zhaoxian Temple in 1924.With eight facets as well as 81 storeys, it is made of white stone and is engraved with various scriptures including 18 arhats.
Rich in historical connotations and with its deep academic accumulation, it is more than a classical work of Jiangnan Style and key cultural relics protection unit in China.

Address: 31 Gushan Road, Hangzhou

 Hangzhou Xihu State Guest Hotel(杭州西湖国宾馆) 

Hangzhou Xihu State Guest Hotel, previously known as Liu’s villa, is located to the west of the West Lake. The hotel is famous for its buildings and south-of-Yangtze-river garden which are exquisitely harmonious. In addition to the magnanimous buildings, elegant furnishings, and human-like landscapes the yard, decorated with small and delicate bridges, waterside pavilions and ancient trees, has won the hotel its fame as “the first garden of the West Lake”. It has witnessed the start of China’s diplomacy and many other momentous events in history, such as the Hangzhou G20 Summit.

In the beginning of 1959, Dai Nianci, who was appointed to reconstruct the hotel, designed a set of new buildings based on its Lingnan Style. To harmonize the infusion of the modern elements with the consistency of traditional style, the rooms all differ in height and, in doing so, form an amazingly well-designed structure.

Address: 18 Yanggong Causeway, Hangzhou China

 Hangzhou Dragon Hotel (黄龙饭店) 

Dragon Hotel, boasting a 420,000-square-meter construction area, was built in 1986at the crossing of Hangda and Shuguang Road, and is the first major joint venture hotel. Under the main exquisite design of Hangzhou’s Architecture Design Institute and the assistance of Xianggang Xuliyan Architecture Office as well as Hangzhou’s Landscape Design Institute, it has won the National Excellent Design Award in 1989, Architectural Society of China Creation Award in the 1980s and Zhejiang’s Best Architectural Engineering Design Special Prize.

After the reconstruction in 2009, it took on a new appearance as the first smart hotel in the world other than the time-honored luxury hotel.

Address: 7 Shuguang Road, Hangzhou

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