Zhouzhuang Town 周庄古镇


Chinese Name: 周庄古镇

English Name: Zhouzhuang Town,Zhouzhuang Guzhen

Location: Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province

Type: Ancient Chinese architecture,water town

Rating Level: AAAAA (5A)

Zhouzhuang Town 周庄古镇
Zhouzhuang Town 周庄古镇

Brief Introduction

Zhouzhuang Town周庄古镇 is one of the “ten most beautiful towns in the globe” and a “world charming water town”, renowned as the No. 1 Water Town in China. Located in Kunshan, 38 km southeast of the city center of Suzhou, it is noted for its typical Chinese water-town features, its well-preserved ancient residential houses, elegant watery views, and the distinctive local traditions and customs.

Zhouzhuang is a popular tourist destination, classified as an AAAAA scenic area by the China National Tourism Administration.

In the Spring and Autumn Period, Zhouzhuang Town was a part of the King of Wu and called Yaocheng摇城. After being donated to Quanfu Temple全福寺 by Zhou Digong周迪公, a very devout Buddhist, in 1086 during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), Zhouzhuang got its present name to rememorize him.

Zhouzhuang Town 周庄古镇
The Quanfu Temple 全福寺

By the mid-Yuan Dynasty, Wanshan Shen沈万山 was using its superior geographical advantage to do trade, thus Zhouzhuang became a distribution center of food, silk, ceramics, arts, and handicrafts in the south of China.

Zhouzhuang Town 周庄古镇
Chengxu Temple 澄虚道观

More than 800 families of aborigines live beside the river, and more than 60% of the dwellings are still preserved in the architectural style of the Ming and Qing dynasties.

There is no motorized traffic in Zhouzhuang Town – either travel by gondola, on foot, or others. Taking a gondola ride along the beautiful Zhouzhuang canals is a better choice.

What is worth to visit and see?

Main attractions

Zhouzhuang is surrounded and divided by lakes and rivers and fourteen ancient stone Bridges built in the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties are well preserved on the well-shaped channel.

The ancient town with a history of more than 900 years, still retains the style and pattern of its ancient village. Its most famous attractions are Fu’an Bridge, Double Bridge, Shen’s Hall of Residence, etc.

Located at the eastern end of Zhongshi Street, Fuan Bridge富安桥 was built in 1355 during the Yuan Dynasty. The unique trait of the Fuan is the consummate combination of the single-arch bridge and the bridge towers.

Zhouzhuang Town 周庄古镇
Fuan Bridge 富安桥

Zhouzhuang Double Bridge双桥 refers to the Shide Bridge世德桥 and Yongan Bridge永安桥 in the center of Zhouzhuang. Built during Ming Dynasty, the two Bridges are connected. They look like the old-style Chinese key, also known as the Key Bridge. It is famous for appearing in the oil painting Memories of Hometown by Chen Yifei, a painter living in the United States.

Zhouzhuang Town 周庄古镇
Double Bridge 双桥

Shen Hall沈厅 was built in 1742 by Shen Benren沈本仁, a descendant of Shen Wansan沈万山, covering an area of more than 2900 square meters. It sits east to west and has seven entrances and five gates. It has more than 100 rooms of all sizes. There are also some other highlights including Zhang Hall张厅, Milou Tower迷楼, Chengxu Temple澄虚道院…

Zhouzhuang Town 周庄古镇
Shen Hall 沈厅

Local culture

In addition to attractive landscapes, the town’s local culture such as Kunqu Opera, tea culture, and annual events including the Fast-Boat Race摇快船 and the Lantern Rowing Ceremony划灯 are also full of charm.

Zhouzhuang Town has a long history of tea culture, has always had “Apo Tea”阿婆茶, Tea culture”茶道, “Xi Tea” 喜茶, “Spring Tea”春茶, “Full Moon Tea”满月茶 and other customs, a variety of names, known as “Jiangnan tea ceremony”江南茶道.

Zhouzhuang Town 周庄古镇
Apo Tea 阿婆茶

Utill 2013, the Zhouzhuang International Tourism Festival of China has been held 18 times successfully. The tourism festival is based on the market and is open to the public. The opening ceremony reflects the simplicity and presents the characteristics of Zhouzhuang with a certain market effect.

Zhouzhuang Town 周庄古镇
the Zhouzhuang International Tourism Festival of China 周庄国际旅游节

Fast-Boat Race in Zhouzhuang Town started in the early Qing Dynasty, after hundreds of years of inheritance, it has become a folk festival, happy harvest, marriage and wedding as large-scale entertainment activities.

Zhouzhuang Town 周庄古镇
Fast-Boat Race 摇快船

The Lantern Festival in Zhouzhuang Town originated from the Qing Dynasty and was held to welcome Emperor Kangxi’s southern tour. Later, it gradually became a traditional entertainment project for local people and was held once every three to five years.

China’s No.1 Water Town – Zhouzhuang.

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