A showcase of Song splendors in Songjiang District
"A Dream of Splendor," a fictional Chinese costume drama featuring girls supporting each other in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), was a big hit this year. The drama draws audiences closer to the fascinating culture and history of the Song Dynasty. In Songjiang District, there is quite a lot of Song-era architecture and relics that are worth visiting as well.
The Huzhu Pagoda in Tianma Hill
While the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy is famous for its inclination, the Huzhu Pagoda in Tianma Hill in Songjiang is tipped at an angle of 7.1 degrees, compared with the Pisa tower's 3.99 degrees.
The tower was built in 1079. Legend has it that Zhou Wenda, an outstanding general in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), was awarded by Emperor Gaozong with a silver armor and a five-colored sarira – an auspicious Buddhist bead – for his bravery in battle.
Zhou hid the sarira on the top of the pagoda, hence its name "huzhu," literally meaning "protecting a bead."
To the east of the tower there is an ancient gingko tree. It is said that Zhou himself planted it. The gingko tree, with its golden leaves, shines best in autumn and winter.
Address: 460 Liujiashan Village, Songjiang District
Fangta Park is named after the quadrangle tower (fangta) in the center of the park. It is scattered with historic cultural relics dating to Song, Yuan (1271-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, and nicknamed "Shanghai's open-air museum."
The quadrangle tower, built around 1063-1093, is now a landmark in Songjiang.
Address: 235 Zhongshan Rd E., Songjiang District
Yunjian No. 1 Building
Legend has it that the Yunjian No.1 Building used to be a roll-call platform for the Wu Kingdom (AD 222-280) general Lu Xun (AD 183-245) during the Three Kingdoms period ( AD220-280).
But records show the building was built in the Song Dynasty and used to be a gate tower in ancient Songjiang. One of the most ancient buildings in Songjiang, the building, after multiple renovations, is now the school gate of the Songjiang No. 2 High School.
Address: 250 Zhongshan Rd E., Songjiang District
Yunjian No. 1 Bridge
The Yunjian No. 1 Bridge, or Kuatang Bridge in the Cangcheng Historic and Cultural Zone, dates back to the Song Dynasty. It was destroyed in the Ming Dynasty and a new bridge was built on the original site. The stone bridge now has three arches, which are made of qingshi stones. Its surface, staircases and railings are made of granite. At a length of 49.3 meters and with a width of 3 meters and a height of 8 meters, the bridge on a moonlit night has been selected as one of Songjiang's 12 best scenes.
Address: Within Cangcheng Historic and Cultural Zone, Songjiang District
Xiu Dao Zhe Tower
The Xiu Dao Zhe, or Moon Shadow, Tower in the west of the Sheshan Forest Park, was built during the Northern Song Dynasty. A seven-floor octagonal tower of stone and wood, the tower stands 29 meters high. Each floor is surrounded with balustraded porches and accessible through two small gates facing north and south. The tower narrows toward the top, giving it an elegant look. With perked eaves, arches, wooden railings and baluster columns, the tower is a beautiful piece of art.
Address: Within West Sheshan Forest Park, Songjiang District