Fuzhou Jiefang Bridge is an important bridge in Fuzhou. It crosses the Minjiang River and connects the two districts of Cangshan and Taijiang. The current bridge was completed in 1996. The total length of the bridge is 426.92 meters and is 12 meters wide. It consists of three parts: Wanshou Bridge, Zhongzhou Island and Jiangnan Bridge. The unique style of the bridge witnessed the history and development of the city.
History of Fuzhou Jiefang Bridge
Fuzhou Jiefang Bridge is the oldest stone bridge along the Minjiang River. Its history can be traced back to 1093 of the Northern Song Dynasty. At that time, the Fuzhou officer Wang used 120 wooden boats to erect two bridges. The bridge is centered on the Lengyan Island in the river. The bridge has a total length of 500 feet.
In 1103 of the Northern Song Dynasty, Wang Zudao felt that the wooden bridge is often washed down by wind and waves, so he initiated a fundraiser and changed it into a stone bridge. The stone bridge was built by only the stone strips, without guardrails on the left and right, which was completed in 1141.
In 1303 of the Yuan Dynasty, the monk of Wanshou Temple received the approval of the local government to raise millions of funds to rebuild the Wanshou Bridge. There were many stone lions of various statues carved on the stone railings. Pavilions at the head and tail of the bridge were built for people to rest. It took 19 years to rebuild the bridge, which was finally completed in 1322. The bridge is 391 meters long and 4.5 meters wide. The construction project was also the largest one in Fujian in the Yuan Dynasty. In order to commemorate the achievements of the monks from Wanshou Temple, people renamed the bridge as Wanshou Bridge.
After the completion of Wanshou Bridge, the "Jiangnan Bridge", also known as "Cangqian Bridge", was also built on the south side. The wood-stone mixed structure bridge is 135 meters long. During the Qing Dynasty, Jiangnan Bridge was destroyed by water and later, it was converted into a complete stone bridge.
Later, the bridge experienced many renovations. The existing bridge was completed in 1996, which is a modern reinforced concrete bridge.
As a symbol of Fuzhou and an important transportation hub, Jiefang Bridge played an irreplaceable role in the lives of local people. It is a tunnel connecting the southern Fujian with Fuzhou. It has changed the way people crossing the river and strengthened the connection between Fuzhou and other regions. Jiefang Bridge is an irreplaceable and unique spiritual and cultural existence in Fuzhou people’s minds.