The Lugou Bridge in Beijing

It is over the Yongding River 18 kilometers southwest of Beijing proper. Because the Yongding River was called Lugou River in the old days. so the bridge got its name. The bridge was first built in I 189 or the 29th year of the Dading reign of the Jin Dynasty. It was destroyed during a flood and was rebuilt in 1698 or the 37th year of the Kangxi reign of the Qing Dynasty. It is 267 meters long and nine meters wide and has 11 arches, the longest stone bridge built in ancient times in north China. The Lugou Bridge enjoys a great reputation at home and abroad for following reasons:

“As uncountable as the lions of Lugou Bridge” is a common expression around Beijing. Its stone balustrades have 140 sculptured balusters on either side with a lion carved on the top of each, each lion being different in posture from the others. According to a survey the cultural relic workers made in the 1960s shows that there are 485 lions. Another survey made in the 1980s shows the figure is 498. Today the people say there are 501 lions including three ones found in the river later.

It is known as the Marco Polo Bridge among European and American tourists. Italian traveler Marco Polo ( 1254-1324) praised the bridge in his travel notes as “the most wonderful and unique bridge in the world”. So this bridge has been known in the world as early as several hundreds of years ago.

It was here that the curtain rose on the Chinese people’s great war of resistance to Japanese aggression in 1937 with what is known as the Lugou Bridge Incident of July 7. Anping Bridge in Quanzhou.

This bridge connects Anhai Town in Jinjiang City and Shuitou Town in Nan’an City in Fujian Province in southeast China. It was first built in 1138 or the eighth year of the Chaoxing reign of the Southern Song Dynasty and was completed 13 years later. The bridge is 3,070 meters long and is the longest stone beam bridge in ancient China. It was built with slab stones which are 8-11 meters long, 0.5-1 meter thick and five tons in weight each. On the bridge, there are Shuixin Pavilion, Central Pavilion, Palace Pavilion, Rain Pavilion and Building-like Pavilion for the people to take a rest. Also the bridge has stone balustrades and sculptured balusters on either side with generals, lions or toads on each. In water on either side of the bridge there are four square stone towers and one round tower, symmetrically. The white tower by the entrance to the bridge is 22 meters tall. This five-story hexagon hollow tower demonstrates a simple and ancient architectural style. This rainbow-like bridge is magnificent. During the Song and Yuan dynasties here was bustling and an important seaport of ancient Quanzhou. The Anping Bridge is famous at home and abroad as “the longest one of its kind in the world” and is a wonder in the Chinese architecture of ancient bridges.