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Zhujiajiao – Ancient Water Town in Shanghai’s suburb

Visit Shanghai, China’s key city, during any time of the year. It holds many surprises for its visitors. Are you aware that an ancient water town also exists in the suburbs of Shanghai? Hold your breath! Head to Zhujiajiao now. “The Venice of Shanghai” is ready to bewitch its visitors.

The ancient water town of Zhujiajiao is situated 47 km away from Shanghai. This typical water town is a part of Shanghai’s Qingpu District, located south of Yangtze River. It has 1,700 years of glorious history behind it. Zhujiajiao is among four ancient towns presently in Shanghai, and is the best preserved today. A quiet and graceful town now, Zhujiajiao presents a fascinating sight with its over 10,000 buildings dating to Ming and Qing dynasties, old stone streets, curved rock bridges, and of course beautiful waterways.

This small town is ready to charm you with its astounding scenic beauty. Walk among the local rustic people, pass through the old houses belonging to Ming and Qing era, beautiful bridges over the river and Willow trees along the small rivers – all these picture perfect scene verily seem to be straight out of the story books. As you walk in the winding long lanes and zigzag stone pathway, you will get a mesmerizing feeling as though you are walking past a fresh and elegant painting.

The fascinating landscape of mountains and lakes of this little fan-shaped town makes it glitter just like a dazzling pearl. If you are visiting the magnificent Zhujiajaio and return without seeing its many bridges then your visit here remains incomplete. You just can’t skip its bridges of varied styles and shapes. The 36 bridges here are quite old and unique. These bridges are of marble, stone and wood. All these bridges were built during the reign of Ming and Qing dynasties.
 
The Fangsheng Bridge is the famous among them all. It is the tallest, largest and longest bridge built with stone. The bridge was constructed in 1571, and has five entrances both in Zhujiajiao as well as Shanghai region. The bridge has stone pillar with Dragon Gate Stone engraved on it depicting a shining pearl encircled by eight coiling dragons. There are four life-sized stone lions on the top of bridge as well. Another bridge worth visiting is the Lang Bridge. It is also called Huimin Bridge, and is the only bridge made of wood.   

There are other attractions as well apart from the bridges. The North Street, an ancient street in Zhujiajaio, is the most frequented place by the domestic and international tourists. Many buildings built during Ming and Qing dynasties can be found here. This one-km-long street with its historic buildings, shops and old bridges enthrall the visitors endlessly.

The Ke Zhi Yuan or Course Plant Garden is yet another prime attraction for the visitors. It is the biggest manorial garden in Zhujiajaio. The garden is popularly known as 'Ma Family Garden', which has been named after its creator Ma Wenqin. This garden also came into existence during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

So next time you visit Shanghai don’t forget to visit the ancient water town of Zhujiajiao.

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