By Anny Yang
More than one thousand years old, AnChang was built during the North Song Dynasty and has become a very famous water town of the Yangzi River Delta. The existing town had to be rebuilt in the Ming or Qing Dynasty, due to being destroyed by war.
In the prosperous period of shipping, AnChang was a main port of Zhejiang, which linked Shaoxing and Hangzhou. Many merchandisers from the textile industry went there doing business, thus AnChang prospered.
Elegance with classical simplicity, AnChang Ancient Town features the characteristic waterside architecture of South China. Thousands of folk dwellings are built at the edge of the water, along with bridges, like rainbows spaced along its route.
There are seventeen stone bridges in all. All presented in different styles. The small bridges over the river are very distinctive and quite special. Some of them are arched, some have pavilions and they all have their own stories.
AnChang’s riverside main street is 1747 meters long. The street winds in accordance with the river which runs through the town. The street links to deep alleys extending in all directions.
Walking on one of them, you may have the feeling that you were in ancient China. On both sides of the alleys throughout AnChang stand age-old traditional houses and stores.
AnChang water town folk customs have lasted for thousands of years and are most vividly demonstrated here. You can enjoy traditional hand-brewing, small roof boats shuttling between the bridges along the riverside and its special cuisines. AnChang Sausage, and Pulled White Sugar, are popular among the public.
AnChang Ancient Town is one of 4,295 monuments listed as of significant historical, artistic or scientific value by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, which is the cultural relics administrative department of the State Council of China. It is under Zhejiang Historical and Cultural Site Protection.
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