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Zhouzhuang Water Town

Zhouzhuang is one of the most famous water towns in China. It is located in Kunshan, only 30 kilometers (18 miles) from Suzhou and 60 kilometers (36 miles) from Shanghai. The ancient town is noted for its profound cultural background, the well preserved ancient residential houses, the elegant watery views, and the strong locally colored traditions and customs.

Zhouzhuang Water Town Zhouzhuang Water Town
Residences along the canals Cruise through Zhouzhuang

The town has a history of over 900 years and most of residencies and houses in the town were built in Ming (1368-1644) or Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The rivers and streams in Zhouzhuang crisscross the town and are spanned by 14 stone-arch bridges constructed during the Yuan (1271-1368), Ming, and Qing Dynasties. Largely due to these waterways, the town avoided the most of the chaos and wars that raged at the time. Because of the peace enjoyed there, most of the architectural structures have remained basically intact.

Zhouzhuang Water Town Zhouzhuang Water Town
Twin Bridges Zhang Family Residence
The outside world became aware of the beauty of Zhouzhuang in 1985 after the painting, Remembrance of My Hometown, by Chen Yifei, was presented to Deng Xiaoping, China's most respected political veteran, by Mr. Armand Hammer, chairman the board of the Occidental Petroleum Corporation of the United States. From then on, the Twin Bridges, which the painting features, has become the symbol of Zhouzhuang.

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