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Tangqi is situated in the south of the Plain of Hangjia Lake, 10 kilometers away from the main city of Hangzhou. It is a key town in the north of Zhejiang Province, a famous town in Jiangnan (south of the lower reaches of Yangtze River), and the central town in one of the six group regions of Hangzhou. The water and land transportation here is rather convenient. For 09 Provincial Highway and the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal both pass through the town; Hangzhou Airport, Shanghai-Hangzhou Railway, Hangzhou-Nanjing Freeway, Shanghai-Hangzhou-Ningbo Freeway,No.104 National Highway,No.320 National Highway are well within reach; It is also the waterway bus terminal of Hangzhou. Tangqi has a permanent resident of 91,000 and covers an area of 79 square kilometers, with 28 villages and 6 communities under its governing. It is renowned far and near as the home of rice and fish, flowers and fruits, silk and satin, and loquats.
Tangqi has a centuries-old history. The town was first built in North Song Dynasty. From Yuan Dynasty, business and trade became prosperous, and Tangqi gradually grew into a large town. In Ming and Qing Dynasty, Tangqi ranked No.1 among the "Top Ten Famous Towns in Jiangnan". In 1992, three villages Tangnan, Hongpan and Chaoshan merged into Tangqi Town, which made it the second largest town in Yuhang District.

Plum-Blossoms in Chaoshan Mountain
Chaoshan Mountain
is one of the top three places to view plum-blossoms in Jiangnan. The scene of plum-blossoms here are world-renowned for its distinguishing features, that is, "old, wide and rare". It has a reputation of "a fragrant sea of plum-blossoms” in history.
"Old"--China has five sorts of ancient plum-blossoms, namely, the Jin, Sui, Tong, Song, and Yuan breeds, and Chaoshan Mountain is boasts of two; the Tang and Song breeds.
"Wide"--Chaoshan Mountain at its golden days had a sea of plum-blossoms, which extended for miles. It was a "fragrant sea" for good reason. Nowadays, there are still hundreds and thousands of plum-blossom trees, with a variety of more than ten categories such as scarlet, pink, red and green breeds. There is an overwhelming view of plum-blossoms in the florescence.
"Rare"--It is rather rare that the plum-blossoms here in Chaoshan Mountain have six petals, while those in other places usually have five petals.
As plum-blossoms bloom every year in early spring, there are spectacular scenes of petals dancing in the air as snow flakes. Mr. Wu Changshuo, the neoteric Master of inscription, Chinese painting and calligraphy, as well as the first president of Xiling Seal Society, was very fond of plum-blossoms in Chaoshan Mountain. He wrote beautiful poem: "Not visiting the fragrant sea for almost ten years, I miss then plum-blossoms much and they alike; when could I take a boat and go there on a snowy day? Then I would drink to then blossoms as to a friend." Mr. Wu was eventually buried in Chaoshan Mountain when he died.

In recent years, authorities in the tourism department of Yuhang and the Chanshan Mountain hold Chaoshan Plum-blossoms Festival every year. During the festival, one can invite some friends, or take the whole family to Chanshan Mountain, have a cup of green tea there, enjoy the endless sea of plum-blossoms, or climb the numerous steps of the mountain. The refreshing feelings of outing in spring time are rather memorable.

Tangqi Ancient Town
Tangqi enjoys a long history. Firstly built in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127A.D.), it became a big town thronged with merchants in the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368A.D.) and further prospered in the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1911A.D.).The place ranked No.1 among the "Top Ten Most Famous Towns in Jiangnan". According to the extant historical records, Tangqi was no more than a small fishing village where fishermen once lived and worked before the Northern Song Dynasty and during the Yuan Dynasty, more people were attracted to live along the canal after an expansion of then Guantang Canal under the auspices of a Yuan official by the name of Zhang Shicheng. The town finally took shape. Under the reign of Hongzhi in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644A.D.), it gradually became a merchant town after the construction of Tongji Bridge connecting the two areas on each bank of the river, According to the Tangqi Record of Guangxu period, since the Ming Dynasty, the river was excavated, bridge was built and market was therefore formed. It also says that "Tangqi Canal is crowded with boats and ships. Boats from Hangzhou to north would take a short rest in Tangqi while ships from Jiaxiu would also make stops there. Therefore, business prospers both on the land and by the riverside. Along the banks, shops lines up and the market develops." Thus it can be seen that the ancient Beijing-Hangzhou Great Canal that has cultivated and nurtured Tangqi.
With its profound cultural and historical traditions, Tangqi has given birth to a host of great literators and abundant classical works of art. It has a large number of relics which include Guangji Long Bridge, Guopu Ancient Well, Qianlong Imperial Stele, Qixi School Stele, Taishi (Prime Minister in feudal China) Lane and Shuinan Temple etc. They carry the history of the ancient town--Tangqi.

Guangji Long Bridge
Guangji Bridge (once named Tongji Bridge, Bitian Bridge) is commonly called Long Bridge. It crosses the Grand Canal from south to north like a rainbow lying on the water. It is not only the unique existing seven-hole stone arch bridge on the Grand Canal but also the largest thin pier joint-arch stone bridge on the Grand Canal preserved today. Stepping up the bridge is like climbing a hill. At the top of the bridge, the panorama of the ancient town is unfolded before your eyes. Guangji Bridge is the pride of Tangqi, and it is regarded as the nose of dragon in Tangqi for its loftiness and magnificence.


Guopu Ancient Well
Guopu Ancient Well is situated on the south bank of the Grand Canal, not far away from the Guangji Bridge. It is said, this well was dug by Guopu, a litterateur in Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420A.D.).Versed in the Eight Diagrams, Guopu found the groundwater vein which was about six feet higher in water level than the town's river, and its water was sweeter than any other well's. This well has suffered a lot in the past years. Nowadays, it has been restored and become a sightseeing place in Tangqi.


Qianlong Imperial Stele
Qianlong Imperial Stele is situated in the west side of Christian Church, a church standing on the Shuibei Street on the bank of the Grand Canal. In 1751, the Emperor Qianlong made a tour of the south China in order to inspect the taxation of three provinces: Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui. As a result, except Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui two provinces were founded to be in deep tax arrears. In praise of Zhejiang province, the Emperor decreed the tax exemption of 300,000 taels of silver. The decree was carved on the stele in order to give explicit instructions to the officials and the residents. Qianlong Imperial Stele is the largest and the best preserved existing Qing Dynasty imperial steles in Hangzhou.


Qixi School Stele
Before Qing Dynasty (1644-1911A.D.), it was inconvenient for the scholars of Tangqi to leave for Hangzhou to be educated in Dongcheng School.In 1890, the head of Renhe county Gao Jixun set up Qixi School in the site of Qieshi Garden in Fengjia Lane for the sake of the local scholars. Therefore, the stele was erected in honor of the establishment of the school, as well as to reflect Tangqi's literature-esteeming atmosphere. Nowadays, the stele has been kept in good position in the Tangqi No.2 High School.


Taishi Lane

Tangqi's Shixin Street, Taishi Lane, keeps the existing well preserved old houses of the Ming Dynasty(1368-1644A.D.).Special walls have been built around these architectures to prevent fire and theft. All the front gates are stone doors with eaves. The eaves are carved with dragon and phoenix, very delicately made. The whole building is three to four rooms' wide and goes deep through six or seven levels each with a space of 15 meters. Wing-rooms are set in both sides of the pavilion with little parvis to get light. At each side of the front gate, there is a long and narrow hidden lane leading to the side doors of the garth's, a characteristic of traditional building.


Shuinan Temple
Shuinan Temple, namely Shuinan Goddess Temple, is also called the Temple of Shuinan Land and Grain God. It was built during Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) and is located opposite today's Tangqi High School. According to the book “Xishuiwencheng”, the temple was built in memory of a Zhan-surnamed concubine of the Lord Fu of the Song Dynasty. Zhan Yuzhen, the concubine of the Song Lord Fu was born in Nan'an, Quanzhou. Her father, an official
died in a battlefield and therefore, Zhan was sent to the Lord's palace. At the end of the year 1275, the Yuan troop invaded Lin'an(the capital of the Southern Song)and Lord Fu fled to the north with the Song Emperor. To express her anger towards the cowardly Song Court, Zhan refused to eat and drink. After her failure of suicide by taking poisons, she drowned herself in a well. She was 27 years old at that time. Touched by her loyalty to the country, the natives buried her, planted trees on her grave and held memorial ceremony annually. The temple was damaged during the Culture Revolution and was restored in August,2001.


Eave Corridor of Tangqi
In ancient Tangqi, eave corridors had prevailed for a time. They were built on every street along the river and even sheds were set up over bridges. The eave corridor originated from Ming Dynasty (1368-1644A.D.), simple in structure and streamline in shape. The corridor is made of two layers with its upper floor serving as an arcade and the lower one as walking street. A line of wooden benches were built along the riverside of the street and is named "beauty bench", or "rice bed". Since the seventies of the last century, with the development of urban construction, streets have been filled up or changed. Thus most of the porches were removed, making the one along Shinan Street under the Eight-character Bridge the only eave corridor, which is about more than 100 meters.

 

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