Guangji Bridge in Chaozhou City
Guangji Bridge suffered repeated destruction over the centuries. The current version is a brilliant, faux-ancient passageway with 18 wooden boats hooked up afresh every morning and 24 stone piers topped with pagodas.
English Name: Guangji Bridge in Chaozhou City
Chinese Name: 潮州市广济桥
Recommended Visiting Time: Half a day
Opening Hours: 10am-5.30pm Mon-Fri, from 9am Sat & Sun
Address: Huancheng East Road, Xiangqiao District, Chaozhou City
Guangji Bridge, also known as Xiangzi Bridge, is an ancient bridge that crosses the Han River east of Chaozhou, Guangdong province, China. This bridge has the features of a beam bridge, arch bridge, and pontoon bridge, which makes it unique in China.
Why Is Guangji Bridge So Special
Guangji Bridge is a Major Historical and Cultural Site Protected at the National Level on account of its storied history and ability to open and close for the passage of large boats. As the world’s oldest opening and closing bateau bridge, the saying goes that to visit Chaozhou without viewing the bridge is to have missed the town altogether. Standing as an exquisite example of period architecture and Chinese ingenuity, the bridge is a tourist hotspot lauded as one of China’s four most famous bridges.
Introduction of Guangji Bridge
Guangji Bridge, known as Kangji Bridge, Dinghou Bridge, Jichuan Bridge, commonly known as Xiangzi Bridge. Ming Dynasty style is still very obvious, simple and dignified. At 3-4 p.m. every day, it is forbidden to pass. The link bridge in the middle opens to let the big boat pass. Once we cross the bridge, we send postcards (tickets) home, which is very meaningful. The earliest open-closed bridge “Xiangzi Bridge”, with its unique style of “Eighteen Shuttle Boats and Twenty-Four Continents”, is also known as Zhaozhou Bridge, Luoyang Bridge in Quanzhou, Lugou Bridge in Beijing (also known as Lugou Bridge) and the four ancient Chinese bridges. Bridge. Guangji Bridge, which integrates beam bridge, pontoon bridge and arch bridge, is an isolated case of ancient bridges in China. On the eve of liberation, Guangji Bridge was already fragmented. In 1958, the whole bridge was strengthened and repaired. Eighteen shuttles were dismantled and rebuilt into three-hole steel frame and two high-pile cap bridges. In October 2003, Guangji Bridge began to be fully repaired. In general, it was repaired according to the Ming Dynasty style, and its function was positioned as a tourist pedestrian bridge. It was completed in 2007.
Local Language about the Bridge
- In 1513, another magistrate Tan Lun added a pier to the bridge and removed six boats; and the Guangji Bridge then consisted of 18 boats and 24 piers. Therefore, local people described it as, “eighteen shuttle boats and twenty-four islets” (十八梭船二十四洲).
- There is even a folksong which praises the beautiful scene of Guangji Bridge, describing the 18 boats, 24 piers, 24 pavilions, and the two oxen statues made of cast iron.
- On the bridge, there were various rooms and pavilions, where people did business on it. So it was also known as “In one square meter on the bridge, there is one square meter of business market”, demonstrating the bustling trade on the bridge.
- Given the poor technologies in ancient times, it was unimaginable that people at that time could build such a long and spectacular bridge. Therefore, legend has it that the bridge was constructed by fairies.
Four Famous Ancient Bridges
- Guangji Bridge
Given the poor technologies in ancient times, it was unimaginable that people at that time could build such a long and spectacular bridge. Therefore, legend has it that the bridge was constructed by fairies.
- Anji Bridge
The Anji Bridge (simplified Chinese: 安济桥; traditional Chinese: 安濟橋; pinyin: Ānjì Qiáo; literally: ‘Safe crossing bridge’) is the world’s oldest open-spandrel segmental arch bridge of stone construction.Credited to the design of a craftsman named Li Chun, the bridge was constructed in the years 595-605 during the Sui dynasty (581–618). Located in the southern part of Hebei Province, it is the oldest standing bridge in China.
- Lugou Bridge
The Marco Polo Bridge or Lugou Bridge is a stone bridge located 15 km southwest of Beijing city center in the Fengtai District. It bridges the Yongding River, a major tributary of Hai River. Situated at the eastern end of the bridge is the Wanping Fortress, a historic 17th-century fortress, with the Museum of the War of Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression inside.
- Luoyang Bridge
The Luoyang Bridge, also known as Wan’an Bridge, is located in Quanzhou, Fujian province, China. The stone bay bridge is situated at the mouth of Luoyang River. Being the first stone bay bridge in China, it enjoys the reputation of ” one of the four ancient bridges of China”.
How to Get to Guangji Bridge
- Take the bus line 110 and get off Hanwengongci Station.
- Take the bus Ancient City Circling Line and get off at Guangjimeng Station.
Useful Travel Tips
- A ticket allows you one crossing.
- The bridge, pagodas and tower are lit up spectacularly at night, though sometimes in gawdy colours. It is worth returning for, even though there is no access across the bridge.