Moon bridge

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Moon bridge
Gaoliang Bridge.JPG
AncestorArch bridge
MaterialStone, brick, and wood

A moon bridge is a highly-rounded arched pedestrian bridge associated with gardens in China and Japan.[1] The moon bridge originated in China and was later introduced to Japan.[2][3][1]

This type of bridge was originally designed to allow pedestrians to cross canals while allowing the passage of barges beneath. When constructed using the climbing ascent and descent this had the further advantage of not using space from the adjoining fields for approaches.

In formal garden design a moon bridge is placed so that it is reflected in still water. The high arch and its reflection form a circle, symbolizing the moon.


  1. ^ a b Bernal, Peggy Park (1999). The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. San Marino, California: Huntington Library. p. 23. ISBN 9780873281348. Moon bridges were a feature of Chinese garden architecture, adopted by the Japanese in the thirteenth century. The large, rounded bridge is usually known as a moon bridge because the arch and the reflection in the water below form a full form a full moon shape, and also because “moon viewing” from beneath the bridge was a diversion for estate owners cruising on their private lakes.
  2. ^ Boults, Elizabeth; Sullivan, Chip (2010). Illustrated history of landscape design. Hoboken, NJ: J. Wiley. p. 118. ISBN 978-0-470-28933-4.
  3. ^ Ono, Kenkichi; Edwards, Walter. "full-moon bridge 偃月橋・円月橋". Japanese Garden Dictionary: A Glossary for Japanese Gardens and Their History. Retrieved 2 September 2011.