The Double Dragon Bridge
The famous Double-Dragon Bridge is three kilometers to the west of Jianshui. It’s a stone bridge with three pavilions and seventeen arches. It spans the confluence of the Lujiang River which is the branch of the Nanpang River and the Tachong River. It got the name because the two rivers wander like two dragons. It was first built during the reign of Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty. At that time, it had only three arches.
At the beginning of the Daoguang reign of the Qing Dynasty, fourteen new bridge arches were added to the original ones. Thus it got another name "the Seventeen - Arch Bridge''. The whole bridge is built with tens of thousands of big bluish - gray sandstones. The overall length of the bridge is 148 meters. The bridge deck is 3-5 meters wide. It’s ample and flat. There are three pavilions built on the bridge. They are well designed with clean lines and fine skill. The middle pavilion is a three-storied building. It towers to the sky.
The other two pavilions are symmetrical. In the 6th year of the Xianfeng reign (A.D.1856), these three pavilions were distoryed during the war. In the 22nd year of the Guangxu reign (A.D. 1896), they began to be rebuilt and finished in the 24th year. They were bigger than what they used to be. The middle pavilion was a square main pavilion with three eave roofs. It’s nearly 20 meters high. Each side is 16 meters long.
Eaves droop and intervein each other. It’s magnificent. The ground floor of the middle pavilion is the passway. Walk along the stairs and arrive at the top floor, you can overlook the whole city and enjoy the beautiful scenery. The pavilion on the south end was a steepled building with doule eave roofs. Eaves tilted up. It looked beautiful. However these two pavilions have been distoryed and only the pavilion on the north end was kept down. The Double- Dragon Bridge in Jianshui ranks first in Yunnan Province in terms of size and artistic value.
It follows the traditional style of China’s arch bridge. It’s the perfect fusion of the building science and plastic arts of the bridge. It condenses the superb technology and intelligence of Yunnan’s people. It’s an excellent work among all the ancient bridges of china. It plays an important role in the history of China’s bridge.