The Zhujiajiao Town
This town is situated in southwestern part of Qingpu District, Shanghai. It has a population of 110,000 and is a famous historical and cultural town of Shanghai. Historical records show that it was the location of country fairs as early as in the Song Dynasty (960- 1368) and became a village and got its name. The Zhujia Village developed into a town during the Wanli reign (1573-1620) of the Ming Dynasty and became a trade center in southern areas of the Yangtze River. It was famous for its production of Shanghai Rice Wine, quality rice and aquatic products. Three rivers run through the town. The houses and streets are concentrated by the Jingting Port, The streets and houses built during the Ming and Qing dynasties are intact today. Along the North Street, there were once thousand shops and the wooden buildings still reflect the flourishing of the town in the old days, The main scenic spots include botanic gardens, Wang Xu Ancestral Hall, Church, covered paths by the Jingting Port mid Fangsheng Bridge. This bridge was first built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and was rebuilt in 1814 or the 19th year of the Jiaqing reign of the Qing Dynasty. It is the largest stone arch bridge in Shanghai areas.
In the past hundreds of years, Zhujiajiao was surrounded by water and the boats were residents. Such a unique natural condition turns the town a waterside village in the southern areas of the Yangtze River. Today the town has attracted flocks of Chinese and foreign tourists who think all things in the town are wonderful including the water, bridges, ancient streets, residential houses and even the food.
The Qiao Family Compound
It is in the Qiaojiapu Village, 10 kilometers northeast of Qixian County or 60 kilometers south of Taiyuan in Shanxi Province in central China. It is the former residence of Qiao Zhiyong from the third generation of the famous trade Pamily of the Qiaos, It was first built in 1755 or the 20th year of the Qianlong reign of the Qing Dynasty and was expanded twice to become the largest residential compound in north China.
The Qiao Family Compound occupies an area of 8,724 square meters and has a floor space of 3,870 square tneters. It is composed of six big courtyards and 19 small courtyards with a total of 313 houses, which fall into two groups in the south and north. The compound is like a castle circled by a 10-meter-high and one-meter-think wall. With a defensive function, it is like an imperial pahice among ordinary people.
The six big courtyards are divided into two parts by a straight street, The main courtyards are lived by the hosts and taller than the side courtyards which aer for the guests or servants or are used as kitchens. The houses in the main courtyards have a tile roof and flying eaves while that in the side courtyards have a flat roof. On the flat roof there are towers to tell hours or for looking far into the distance. The whole compound is well-proportioned. Even more than 140 chinmeys are full of rhyming. The steps, doors, windows, eaves and rails in all courtyards are novel in thair shapes. The stone, brick and wood carvings demonstrate a delicate workmanship. There is a saying, “ imperial court owns the Museum of Palaces and the Qiao Family Compound is the the representative of residential houses.”