Zhouzhuang (Zhou Village), a 900-year-old
village in Jiangsu Province, is about two hours drive
This land of peace is like a water
color painting, is like a clear gentle wind, Zhouzhuang
offers one the feeling of entering the "time machine"
leading the visitors totally away from the modern society.
As soon as stepping into Zhouzhuang, you
will find many simple structures scattering in a peaceful
environment. Although more than 900 years had past,
its architectural style is still well preserved.
More than 50 percent of the residential
houses were built during the Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties
(1368-1911A.D.), consists of nearly 100 classic courtyards
and 60 carved brick archways.
Shen Hall and Zhang Hall are the most famous
buildings in Zhouzhuang. Two persons whose surnames
were "Shen" and "Zhang" built them
in the Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties. The hall is spacious,
and the columns are thick and strong. The back wall
is a river revetment.
In addition to the simple life style, they
not only make Zhouzhuang unique but also bring it the
reputation of "The First Water Village in South
Overlooked from a higher ground, Zhouzhuang
is coincidentally surrounded by lakes. Waterway interlocks
freely in the village and bridges become the medium
of streets. What worth of mentioning are several ancient
bridges, on which tourists often cannot help walking
repeatedly. Ten ancient bridges have been well preserved.
No matter big or small, round or straight,
all of them are classic and refined.
are the most typical. Built in Ming Dynasty, the stone
bridges are strong and simple. Stretching over Nanshi
River and Yinzibang River, they are bridges made of
stone arch and stone beam. The bridge opening one is
round, and one is square. One bridge floor is horizontal,
and the other is erected. It seems like two little rivers
are locked tightly by a huge lock.
Compared with bright-colored big modern
cities, Zhouzhuang is simple and elegant. Roaming in
the streets or standing on the bridges, you will find
all corner of Zhouzhuang are natural and beautiful.
A popular female writer from Taiwan visited
here before she died. She said she had found the true
meaning of travel in Zhouzhuang. Besides, a famous Russian
artist who once visited here thought of Zhouzhuang as
The streets of Zhouzhuang are very narrow.
It can only hold 5 to 6 people standing side by side.
There are many timber handcraft shops. Wooden bowls,
chopsticks, straw sandals, genuine or antiques and refined
watercolors depicting the scenery of south China.
Most constructions in Zhouzhuang were built
along the river, and most of them are in a style that
the front entrance wall is facing the street and the
back wall facing the river.
One of the reasons this small water town
Zhouzhuang became a well-known scenic spot, is due to
an oil painting named "Hometown in My Memory".
Painted by Chen Yifei - a modern artist, the oil painting
was modeled on Double Bridges in Zhouzhuang. It was
bought by Mr. Harmor-the petroleum magnate and then
presented to the contemporary Chinese chairman Deng
Since then, this little town was never the
same, tourists from the all over the world rush into
Zhouzhuang, hurry, come to Zhouzhuang before it lost
its former peacefulness.