Why is Waterwheel Park special?
Located in the Binhe Road in Lanzhou, Gansu Province, the Waterwheel Park was built in 1994. Covering an area of 1.45 hectares, the park is comprised of two waterwheels, a cofferdam, the recreation area and a house of water mill, which will provide an insight into the irrigation tools of the ancient times as well as some recreation activities.
Lanzhou is the only city through which the Yellow River flows, thus many irrigation machines were invented and placed in the city. The oldest waterwheel was invented in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). With characteristics learning from the irrigation machines in Yunnan Province and the adoption of some local usages, waterwheel was invented a distinctive style with the appearance of chariot wheels and a diameter ranging from 10 to 20 meters. The center of the wheel was placed with an axle and boards, while the brim of the wheel was fixed with many quadrate buckets. These buckets were used to carry water to a certain height to irrigate fields.
Waterwheel Park Highlights
Until 1952, with about 252 waterwheels stood along the river in Lanzhou, the city was reputed to be the "City of Waterwheels".
In the Waterwheel Park, two huge waterwheels stand on the south bank of the Yellow River. They are modeled on the antique waterwheel with quadrate buckets and a diameter of 16.5 meters. In high water periods, the waterwheels are driven by flowing water from the river; while in low water periods, they are driven by water gathered by cofferdam.
Owing the advantaged position to appreciate waterwheels, the Waterwheel Teahouse attracts a lot of tourists. In the park, tourists can also experience crossing the river on a sheepskin raft, which is the most primeval ferrying tool in the northwest region of the Yellow River.