Majestic sites along Metro Line 4's first phase

Wu Huixin
These sites include the Qiantang River's massive tidal bores, the historical Qiantang River Bridge as well as Liuhe and White Pagodas.
Wu Huixin

The first phase of Metro Line 4 came into use in 2015, and a section of it traces the northern side of the Qiantang River. The second phase that mainly links residential communities opened to the public last month. Here, Shanghai Daily introduces some historical sites along the route of the first phase.

Map of Metro Line 4

Majestic sites along Metro Line 4's first phase

The Qiantang River

The mother river has the world's largest tidal bore with waves that travel up to 40 kilometers per hour and are up to 9 meters high. The tides have attracted scores of visitors and are best viewed in October when they are at their highest.

Although the ancient city suffered from the roaring waves, modern-day Hangzhou has conquered them and built a subway that runs through the river. Today, high-rise buildings and landmarks along the Qiantang River light up with dynamic images. This area has already developed into the most prosperous district in Hangzhou. The iconic sun and moon-shaped buildings are landmarks of the area.

In 2017, Hangzhou government initiated a project to develop cruise liners along the waterway. From the Jiankang Park wharf, people board a ship that cruises to the center of the river to view a light show on its banks. The ship, measuring 50 meters in length and 16 meters in width, can accommodate almost 500 people.

How to get there: Get off at Nanxing Bridge Station

Majestic sites along Metro Line 4's first phase

The Qiantang River Bridge is the first double-decker steel bridge in China, with the first level for cars and the second for trains.

The Qiantang River Bridge

The bridge was the first modern steel bridge in China built by Chinese people. At that time, the possibility of building such a bridge seemed impossible due to the river's tidal bores.

Mao Yisheng (1896-1989) designed the double-decker steel bridge, with the first level for cars and the second for trains. Complicated hydrological conditions made it difficult to build, but construction was completed in 1936.

During the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1931-1945), the bridge played a vital role in transporting supplies for the Chinese army. However, on December 23, 1937, China had to order this bridge destroyed because Japanese troops were closing in. If the Japanese had occupied Hangzhou, they would have used the bridge to transport military materials.

The bridge was almost completely destroyed by explosives with only the piers remaining. In 1953, Mao Yisheng began reconstructing the bridge.

How to get there: Shuicheng Bridge Station

Majestic sites along Metro Line 4's first phase

Residents write Chinese character fu (fortune) in front of Liuhe Pagoda.

Liuhe Pagoda and White Pagoda

The White Pagoda on the north embankment of the Qiantang River was built during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period (AD 907-979) as a landmark for ship navigation.

Today, very few wooden buildings are left in China. However, the White Pagoda is living proof of superb Chinese architectural craftsmanship.

For years, the Liuhe Pagoda has stolen the thunder from the nearby White Pagoda. During the Five Dynasties, Emperor Qianliu of the Wuyue Kingdom, which is today's Zhejiang Province, presided over the pagoda's construction, which was expected to "calm" the tidal bores.

The wood-and-brick pagoda's name literally means "six harmonies" in Chinese philosophy. During that period, the pagoda was a garden where peony flowers grew.

That tradition has been handed down for centuries. Blooming peony flowers in Liuhe Pagoda are a highlight of the annual Hangzhou Huazhao Festival, which falls on the 12th day of every second lunar month.

Ancient people had outings to enjoy peony blossoms as a way of celebrating the most vibrant day of the year. The flower buds at Liuhe Pagoda will blossom in April. In addition to common pink, white and red varieties, rare species such as black, purple and blue will be in full blossom.

How to get there: Get off at Shuicheng Bridge Station

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