Why is Qingming Bridge Historical and Cultural Block special?
The Qingming Bridge Historical and Cultural Block in Wuxi owns both the precious heritage and historical resources. Alongside the Block, the local buildings enjoy a reputation of the old world charm, all of which tell their prosperous and glorious past and have been the spiritual home for all the generations living within. These streets reflect historical and cultural values and are part of today’s life.
Qingming Bridge Historical and Cultural Block Highlights
Built over the ancient Grand Canal during the Ming Dynasty, Qingming Bridge is the largest and best-preserved ancient stone arch bridge still standing in Wuxi. As one of more than 60 bridges scattered along China's ancient Grand Canal, Qingming Bridge is a single stone arch structure stretching 43.2 meters across the canal. At 5.5 meters in width, the bridge stands 8.5 meters high, with its arched opening at 13.1 meters to allow traffic flow in the water below.
There are some scenic pictures at the Qingming Bridge as well. The bridge overlooks a beautiful canal. Crossing the bridge, you can wander around a residential area about 100 years old. It is a good way to get a feel of how the locals live in older, less modernized areas.
Historical and Cultural Block
The cultural area surrounding the bridge encompasses more than 900 meters of old stores, workshops, and traditional residences designed during the late Qing Dynasty. Because of its location along the Grand Canal, the area was historically been one of Wuxi's most prosperous districts during the Ming and Qing dynasties. During its height, the area greatly resembled what had been depicted in the "Upper River during Qing Ming Festival" painting, a famous scroll illustrating the vibrant activity along the Grand Canal during ancient times. The imagery of the scroll weaves along the river and through the countryside rich with scenes of shopkeepers and merchants, carts being pulled to town, commercial areas, places of worship, homes, teahouses, and boats amidst a lush landscape.
The prosperity of the historical and cultural block fully embodies the vivid scene of the birthplace of China’s modern industry and commerce. Local residence living along the canal keeps the traditional life styles, which presents the continuity of the historical living conditions. The block resembles the culture of folk customs in the south Yangtze River, culture of national industry and commerce, culture of water alleys, as well as culture of ancient architecture. All of which convey the block as a perfect outdoor live museum embodying the rich historical and cultural foundation.