Ancient magnolia tree a silent witness to city's history
Xiatang Street in Liantang Town is where Chen Yun (1905-95), an early leader in the Communist Party of China, studied and enjoyed pingtan, a traditional Suzhou form of story-telling and ballad-singing.
On the street stands a majestic magnolia tree – the oldest of its kind in Shanghai. It is 8.7 meters high and more than 100 years old, a silent witness to Liantang's history as well as a living cultural relic.
Standing at 102 Xiatang Street, it is inside the courtyard of a residence, and the trunk leans to the left at a 45-degree angle. Every spring, the tree is in full bloom.
Magnolia is the city flower of Shanghai, and it represents the strong and aspiring spirit of the city.
The town has Chen Yun Memorial Hall, the Sanlitang Book Store, Changchun Garden Storytelling Hall and Abacus Culture Center.
Walking in the ancient town, people will find the living scene of Chen in his youth time everywhere.
In recent years, the memorial hall has made detailed protection plans for the tree.
When it is blossoming, fragrant magnolia flowers add radiance and beauty to the traditional white walls and black tiles of the residence.
The residence has been renovated into a bronze statue pavilion of pioneers of the Communist revolution and Chinese leaders.