Admire Ancient Beauty in Nanxun Ancient Town
2014-01-08 Ada Sights Huzhou 859
Nanxun Ancient Town, known as the ‘the land of fish and rice’ and ‘silk market’, is a charming tourist destination. A large number of ancient houses, gardens and other ancient buildings are well preserved, such as the famous garden - Little Lotus Garden, the famous private library – Jia Ye Tang, the One-Hundred Residential Houses of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the famous Yangtze River mansion - Zhang Shiming’s Former Residence, etc. Bridges running over rippling rivers, white walls and dancing green willows form an authentic landscape. The harmony and unity between culture and natural scenery as well as the combination of Chinese antiquity and western architecture, make the town fascinating.
Nanxun Ancient Town was founded during the Southern Song Dynasty and is over 700 years old now. The ancient town looks like a cross when viewed from above, with a total area of 68 hectares. The ancient part of Nanxun is the interesting part – both for its traditional architecture and the quintessential Chinese portrait of a Yangtze River Delta water town it paints. Two waterways intersect at the town, they are the Shihe River is from north to south, and that of the ancient Grand Canal from east to west. The town is small and its scenery only covers 1.68 square kilometers, but it is its cultural atmosphere and less commercialization that make it special and lovable. Although withstanding several centuries of war and turbulence, the high quality construction and buildings in Nanxun Ancient Town are amazingly well-preserved.
The whole city was built around canals that intersected the city and connected it with waterways leading to Lake Taihu and on to the Grand Canal. Stretching along the ancient canal which divides the town into two parts, they still function as residences for the local people.Many of the canals have been paved over to allow for modern traffic, but in the old section of the city, the main canals are still operational.
Located in the middle part of the town, the Little Lotus Garden, Jia Ye Tang Library and other attractions are of great visiting value.
Besides the old houses, corridors, stone bridges and deep lanes like other ancient towns around, Nanxun Ancient Town is more famous due to the elegant and exquisite gardens. Most of these gardens are a combination of Chinese and Western styles. The most well-known gardens among them are the Small Lotus Garden and the Jiaye Book-Collecting Hall, both of which were built in the 1920s.
Despite its ancient architecture and traditional environment, it is less popular for tourists and therefore has a much less commercial feel to it. It is interesting to walk up and down the small alleys that border the waterways.
Some of the historic homes are open for visitors and you can go inside and have a look around. There are teahouses and restaurants on either side of the river and it's very relaxing, especially when the weather is fine, to sit outside and enjoy tea and snacks. Tourist boats operate up and down the canals so it's also fun to take a short ride along the canals.