Pingjiang Road

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Pingjiang Road
平江路
Suzhou Pingjiang Road.jpg
Pingjiang Road
Former name(s)十泉里
Length1,606 m (5,269 ft)
Other
StatusComplete
Websitepj-road.com/En/Default

Pingjiang Road (Chinese: 平江路; pinyin: Píngjiāng Lù), historically known as Shiquan Li (Chinese:十泉里), is a street and historic district in Gusu District (formerly the Pingjiang District), northeastern Suzhou, Jiangsu, China. It is a well-preserved area and is part of the so-called Old Town of Suzhou.[1]

In 2015, the Pingjiang Road Historical Block was added to the list of China's "National Historic and Cultural Streets".[2][3]

Overview[edit]

The main street (Pingjiang Road) is located along Pingjiang He (Chinese:平江河) and is 1,606 metres (5,269 ft) in length. It stretches from Ganjiang Donglu (Chinese:干将东路) in the south to Baita Road East (Chinese:白塔东路) in the northwest, near the Humble Administrator's Garden and Suzhou Museum. The entire historic district covers an area of 0.4 square kilometres (0.15 sq mi).[4] The city of Suzhou was known as Pingjiang during Southern Song Dynasty. As a major thoroughfare of eastern Suzhou back then, the street carries on the former name of the city. It was featured in the map Pingjiang Tu (Chinese:平江图), produced in the year 1229.[5][6] There are 51 smaller alleys intersecting the street. There are also about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) of canals within the historic district.[5][6][7]

In 2009, Pingjiang Road was listed as a Zhongguo Lishi Wenhua Mingjie (Chinese:中国历史文化名街, literally: Famous historical and cultural street of China), one of the first nine streets with such title across China.[8] Along with Shantang Street, the area was also declared a Zhongguo Lishi Wenhua Jiequ (Chinese:中国历史文化街区, literally: Historical and cultural block of China) in 2015.[9]

A BBC Travel article describes Pingjiang Road as less touristy than Shantang Street and states that it is "lined with houses that embody Suzhou’s style – graceful, simple and timeless. Pingjiang Road gives an insight into the leisurely existence of the city’s residents. [It is a] centre of Suzhou's artistic life, lined with bookshops and local opera theatres. There are also several teahouses, where people gather for performances of traditional storytelling and ballad singing".[10]

Couple's Retreat Garden (Ou Yuan), a noted Classical Garden located within the historic district, is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Classical Gardens of Suzhou. Guanqian Street is also in walking distance. There are 2 national-class and 12 provincial-class protection units within the historic district. Pingjiang Road undergone a major renovation prior to the 28th Session of the World Heritage Committee which took place in Suzhou in 2004.[11]

Bridges within the district[edit]

There are 18 stone bridges in the Pingjiang Road historic district. Among them, 12 bridges (or in their previous forms) are shown on the Song Dynasty Pingjiang Tu. They are namely Sipo, Shou'an, Xuegao, Jiqing, Sujun, Zhong'an, Tongli, Huxingsi, Beikaiming, Tangjia, Zhumajiao and Xiaoxin. 10 of the bridges are lying in the north-south direction, the other 8 in the east-west direction. The historic district thus has the highest density of bridges across Suzhou.[12][13]

English name Chinese name Built/Renovated Notes and references
Zhumajiao Bridge 朱马交桥 Unknown. Renovated 1250, 1684, 1982, 2003 Also known as Zhumagao Bridge (Chinese:朱马高桥). Sometimes written as 朱马茭桥[14]
Tangjia Bridge 唐家桥 Renovated 1744, 1984, 2003 [15]
Huxiangsi Bridge 胡相思桥 Renovated 1744, 1983 The only archbridge in Pingjiang Road Historic District, formerly known as Huxingshi Bridge (Chinese:胡厢使桥)[16]
Tongli Bridge 通利桥 Renovated 1814, 1984 [17]
Xiaoxin Bridge and Zhong'an Bridge 小新桥与众安桥 Xiaoxin Bridge was renovated in 1918 and 1984 Xiaoxin Bridge was known as Beizhangjie Bridge (Chinese:北张家桥) on Pingjiang Tu and Xin Bridge (Chinese:新桥) on the Qing Dynasty Suzhou Fuzhi, while Zhong'an Bridge is also known as Daxin Bridge (Chinese:大新桥). The two bridges lie close together.[18]
Sujun Bridge 苏军桥 Renovated 1814, 1960, 1980 Also known as Sujin Bridge (Chinese:苏锦桥) and colloquially as Qingshi Bridge (Chinese:青石桥)[19]
Jiqing Bridge 积庆桥 also known as Shengli Bridge (Chinese:胜利桥), and colloquially as Jiqing Bridge (Chinese:吉庆桥)[20]
Sipo Bridge 思婆桥 Renovated 1805, 1985 Formerly known as Shipo Bridge (Chinese:师婆桥)[21]
Shou'an Bridge 寿安桥 Renovated 1960, 1985 Known as Zifu Bridge (Chinese:资福桥) in the early Qing Dynasty[22]
Xuegao Bridge 雪糕桥 Renovated 1753, 1905, 1985 [23]

The story of Hong Jun and Sai Jinhua[edit]

Hong Jun, a scholar and diplomat temporarily residing on 27 Xuanqiao Lane, Pingjiang Road, met 20-year-old Sai Jinhua in 1886, then as a prostitute while on a flower boat. At the time Hong Jun was in mourning due to his mother's death. Hong Jun made Sai Jinhua his concubine one year after meeting her. Sai Jinhua followed Hong Jun in his diplomatic visits to Russia, Germany, Australia and the Netherlands, Sai Jinhua also gave birth to a daughter named Deguan. The couple returned to Suzhou in 1893 and made 29 Xuanqiao Lane home, neighboring Hong Jun's former residence. However, two months after their return, Hong Jun became sick and died at age 55. Sai Jinhua was forced to leave the house after Hong's death and carried on her profession as a courtesan in Shanghai.[24][25]

Transportation[edit]

Pingjiang Road is within walking distance to the Xiangmen Station of Line 1, Suzhou Rail Transit.[26]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pingjiang Road | Pingjiang Historic Street". Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  2. ^ "Official Travel and Tourism Website for Suzhou". en.visitsz.com.
  3. ^ "Historical streets in Jiangsu listed as national heritage". chinadaily.com. China Daily. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  4. ^ "平江路简介". Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Pingjiang Road – A Historic Street in Suzhou". Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  6. ^ a b "平江路的历史". Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  7. ^ "苏州平江路 古老街巷中的新契机(图)". Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  8. ^ "苏州平江路:原汁原味保护,传承"吴文化"精髓". Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  9. ^ "苏州平江路、山塘街被认定为首批"中国历史文化街区"". Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Suzhou: China's Canal Capital". Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  11. ^ "平江历史文化街区概况". Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  12. ^ "平江路上古桥". Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  13. ^ "平江路". Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  14. ^ "朱马交桥". Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  15. ^ "唐家桥". Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  16. ^ "胡相思桥". Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  17. ^ "通利桥". Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  18. ^ "小新桥-众安桥". Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  19. ^ "苏军桥". Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  20. ^ "积庆桥". Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  21. ^ "思婆桥". Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  22. ^ "寿安桥". Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  23. ^ "雪糕桥". Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  24. ^ "平江历史文化街区历史". Archived from the original on 26 August 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  25. ^ "Sai Jinhua: The Life and Legend of Beijing's Most Famous Prostitute". Beijing Postcards. 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  26. ^ "相门站". Retrieved 25 July 2016.

External links[edit]