Luzhi Ancient Town
Luzhi Town has a well deserved reputation as the “Number One Water Town of China". When people enter into the ancient town, they will be impressed by the clear water, the peaceful environment and the scenic spots and historical sites that are spread all over the town.
Although many of the historical sites has been through hardships over the course of history, they still remain in a very good shape. For example the Baosheng Temple, built in 503 AD, has over 1500 years history but where the nine buddhist clay sculptures made by the famous sculptor Yang Huynh of Tang Dynasty are still well preserved.
Another special feature of the town is its numerous bridges. The one square kilometer town proper once had 72.5 stone arched bridges built in Song Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty, Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty. Now 41 bridges still exist which are all different from each other in design and style: large multi-arched stone bridges, small single span stone bridges, spacious arched bridges, narrow level-decking bridges, etc. Visiting Luzhi is actually very much like visiting a museum of ancient bridges. The density of bridges here even exceeds that of Venice.
Ancient ginkgo trees is also one of the symbols of Luzhi, as it is not only a mark of history and culture, but also adds color and luster to the streets of the town.
The ancient streets, houses and alleys are all typical of Luzhi. There are nine main streets in the town which are all paved with cobble and granite. The houses are built beside the river, and the streets runs in front of the houses. Since most houses were built in Ming and Qing Dynasties, there are also beautiful decorative patterns on the walls. There are 58 lanes in the town and the deepest lane is 150 meters long. If you want to enter some houses in the lanes and alleys, you have to pass up to seven gates.
There are also a lot of ancient relics in Luzhi town, such as White Lotus Temple of Northern Song Dynasty in the east the town, Concubine Sun’s Tomb in the west of the town, the temporary imperial abode of Fu Chai, the king of the Wu Kingdom in the north of the town, and Zhang Cang's mausoleum, the prime minister of Han Dynasty in the south of the town. While strolling in this ancient town, admiring the ancient bridges, seeing fishing boats on the rivers, you can get a good taste of old Chinese small town life.
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