The long rivers nurture cultures. Jiangsu, the province with the largest number of world cultural heritages along the Grand Canal, has 325 kilometers of river segments rich in cultural heritage, accounting for one third of the entire length of the Grand Canal. It has 7 heritage regions, accounting for 46% of the total area of the heritage regions; and 28 heritage sites and sections, amounting to one third of the total number. As a result, the province has the richest variety of cultural heritages which are the most densely distributed in the province. Let's go to the cities in Jiangsu, and talk about the cultural heritages.
Dragon Temple Temporary Palace
Dragon Temple Temporary Palace is located in the ancient town of Zaohe River, 20 kilometers northwest from Suqian City. The temple was built during Emperor Shunzhi’s reign in the Qing Dynasty. Emperor Qianlong toured Jiangnan for six times, and stayed at this place for five times, so it is also called "Qianlong’s Temporary Palace". There are 23 buildings in the temple, including the Imperial Monument Pavilion, Dragon King Hall, and Mountain Gate, which are of high historical and cultural value.
In the navigation history of the Grand Canal, the Qingkou Complex is famous for its unique location, sophisticated design and advanced technology. Historically, Qingkou Complex is the confluence of the Yellow River, Huaihe River and the Grand Canal, and it is also one of the most technologically advanced water control projects on the Grand Canal in China.
Ruins of Water Transport Governor’s Office
Situated in Huai'an, the Ruins of Water Transport Governor’s Office are grand, well-preserved and rigorously laid out, which was the highest-level institution for the management of transportation affairs in China during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It is a spectacular sight when overlooking from a height, on the same axis with the Zhenhuai Tower and Yingxun Gate from the Northern Song Dynasty in the south, as well as the Huai’an Government Seat in the north.
Built in 1375, Yucheng Post is the largest and best-preserved dual-purpose post for water and land courier services in China, covering 16,000 square meters. 600 years have passed by in a hurry, although Yucheng Post has gone through vicissitudes, its ancient architecture remains unchanged, and it is regarded by experts as a living fossil of Chinese postal station.
Slender West Lake
As an outstanding masterpiece of gardens along the Grand Canal, Slender West Lake has the reputation of "the best garden in the world", combining the beauty of the south and the majesty of the north. It has green rippling water, flowers and willows on the shores, as well as towers and pavilions nearby, like a long picture scroll slowly unfolding before you.
The Garden is a private garden and residence of Yangzhou salt merchants in the Qing Dynasty, famous for its ubiquitous green bamboos and the rockery that features the four seasons. The Chinese character "个" (Ge) in its name is taken from the half of the Chinese character for bamboo (竹), which implies the bamboos in the garden, and shows where the owner's interests lied.
Changzhou Section of the Jiangnan Canal
The Grand Canal is not just the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal as it is commonly known, but a system of canals. The Changzhou Section of the Jiangnan Canal crosses the city from west to east, with a length of about 23 kilometers, which is a typical section of the Canal passing through a southern city. It has been flowing for thousands of years and witnessing countless prosperous scenes and beautiful stories.
Qingming Bridge Historical and Cultural Block
Qingming Bridge, the oldest, largest and best-preserved single-hole arch stone bridge on the old canal in Wuxi, has lasted strong for hundreds of years and still tells a story of love and warmth. The famous Chinese folk artist "Blind Abing" used to play erhu on the bridge.
There are many ancient city gates in China, but Panmen, located in the southwest corner of the ancient city of Suzhou, is the only existing city gate connected by land and water in the country. Therefore, it has high historical and cultural value, and the saying of "Looking north at the grandness of the Great Wall and south at the beauty of Panmen".
There are many other cultural heritages along the Grand Canal in Jiangsu, like the famous Hongze Lake Embankment, the quiet and beautiful Shaobo Ancient Embankment, Pingjiang Historical and Cultural District that is always bustling. You may tour the Grand Canal, explore the ancient sites and find the stories that are passed down through thousands of years.