Ancient sea dyke in Fengxian to be developed into heritage park

A historic flood prevention wall in the city's southern outskirt will be developed into a heritage park, along with a number of other nearby historical and cultural sites.
Ti Gong

Part of the Huating Ancient Stone Dyke in Fengxian District, dubbed the “Great Wall on the Sea,” which was built in 1713 to prevent both flood and pirates.

A historic flood prevention wall in the city’s southern outskirt will be developed into a heritage park, along with a number of other nearby historical and cultural sites.

The 4-kilometer-long remains of the Huating Ancient Stone Dyke in Fengxian District, dubbed the “Great Wall on the Sea,” has also applied to be listed as a national cultural heritage site, said Zhuang Mudi, the Party secretary of Fengxian.

The dyke, located in the district’s Zhelin Town, originally stretched 33 kilometers along Hangzhou Bay. The bulk of the structure was built in 1713 to stave off both flood waters and pirates.

The surviving section was unearthed at the seaside area in 1996. Built with four layers of stone bricks, it is about a meter high and follows the outline of the coastline to resist flooding more effectively, said Zhuang.

“I always recommend tourists from both home and abroad to also visit the ‘Great Wall on the Sea’ in Fengxian, Shanghai, apart from the wall in Beijing,” Zhuang said in an interview with the city’s radio station yesterday. The dyke in Fengxian is slated to become a “maritime Great Wall heritage park,” he added.

People began building flood prevention walls along the coastline in the Sui Dynasty (581-618). Local people originally used clay for these walls, but then switched to more durable stone materials, said Liu Hongjun, a history professor at Shanghai Institute of Technology.

Dyke building technology was further improved in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), when the stone wall was also used to resist Japanese pirates, Liu said.

The most solid section of the dyke was built in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) with granite bricks, Liu said. Part of this section remains in Zhelin today.

However, the dyke was later buried by the passage of time and its history was forgotten, even among many nearby residents, Liu said. It was listed as a city-level cultural heritage site in 2002.

Other historical sites will be developed along with the dyke to form a cluster of cultural relics in the southern outskirts, Zhuang said. These include the East Sea Guanyin Temple, dating back to the early Ming Dynasty, and the historic Wanfoge Temple.

Several new cultural landmarks will also be built around those historical venues, Zhuang said.

One highlight, the Nine Tree Art Center in Nanqiao Town, is set to become a major cultural landmark in the southern suburb. The center, designed by French architect and designer Frederic Rolland, is set to serve as one of the main sites for the opening of the national art festival. It will open to the public in October 2019.

The art center will be surrounded by a forest park and feature outdoor concert halls, Zhuang said.

Furthermore, the Fengxian Urban Museum, which includes the district’s urban planning exhibition hall, will be completed in September 2018. It will showcase both the history and future of Fengxian, as well as becoming an important public venue for residents.

Shanghai Fish Lake — also know as Jinhai Lake — will be completed in 2019. It’s the city’s largest artificial lake, covering 8.74 square kilometers, and is designed to be an iconic scenic lake, not only for Fengxian but the city at large, according to the district government.

Over 100 parks will be built across the district within five years and open to residents with themes such as recreation, culture, sports and health, Zhuang said.

The district is also developing itself into an “Oriental Beauty Valley” that will develop and promote local cosmetic brands globally and help turn the city into Asia’s largest “beauty and health” industry center.

The valley aims to be on par with France’s Cosmetic Valley in Ile-de-France and Japan’s Saito Life Science Park in northern Osaka, the district government said.


Ti Gong

An artistic rendition of the Nine Tree Art Center, which will open to public in October 2019.

Ti Gong

An artistic rendition of the Nine Tree Art Center, which will open to public in October 2019.

Some other historical sites will be developed along with the dyke to create a cluster of cultural relics in the southern outskirt, Zhuang said. They include the East Sea Guanyin Temple, dating back to early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the Wanfoge Temple, originally built even before the construction of the former Fengxian Town.

Several new cultural landmarks will also be built around those historical venues to fulfill the cultural life of local residents, Zhuang said.

As a highlight, the Nine Tree Art Center, covering 76,670 square meters in Nanqiao Town is set to become a major cultural landmark in the city’s southern suburb. The center designed by renowned French architect and the designer Frederic Rolland, is also set to serve as one of the main sites for the opening of the national art festival, will open to the public in October 2019.

The art center will be surrounded by a forest park and feature outdoor concert halls to be differentiated from downtown art venues, Zhuang said.

Furthermore, the Fengxian Urban Museum, which includes the urban planning exhibition hall of the district, will be completed in September 2018. It will exhibit both the history and future of Fengxian, as well as becoming an important public venue for residents to take part in various activities.

SHINE

A bird's eye view of the Shanghai Fish Lake — also know as Jinhai Lake — whcih will be completed in 2019. It's the city's largest artificial lake, covering 8.74 square kilometers, roughly the size of 800 standard football pitches.

The main structure of Shanghai Fish Lake — also know as Jinhai Lake — will be completed in 2019. It's the city's largest artificial lake, covering 8.74 square kilometers, roughly the size of 800 standard football pitches, and is designed to be an iconic scenic lake, not only for Fengxian, but the city as well, according to the district government.

Over 100 parks will be built across the district within five years and open to the residents with different themes such as recreation, culture, sports and health, Zhuang said.

The district is also developing itself into an "Oriental Beauty Valley" that will develop and promote local cosmetic brands globally and help turn the city into Asia's largest "beauty and health" industry center.

The valley aims to be on par with France's Cosmetic Valley in Ile-de-France and Japan's Saito Life Science Park in northern Osaka, the district government said.


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