Lugou Bridge (卢沟桥 - Lúgoūqiáo)

Rem Sapozhnikov / April 2014
Lugouqiao Bridge is the oldest bridge surviving from Beijing past. It was built within the period from 1189 to 1192. Its name comes from the Lugou river, over the banks of which it was spanned (“qiao” hieroglyph (桥) means “a bridge”). The river was later renamed and now it is called Yongding (永定河 - Yǒngdìnghé).

The length of the bridge is 267 meters (0.165 miles).
↑ Click for detailed view ↑
The bridge is decorated with hundreds of statues of lions with cubs. All of them are unique, i.e. the images are not repeated. For today, at about 500 sculptures remain.

It is believed that in the XIII century a Venetian traveler Marco Polo admired this bridge and wrote: "Excellent bridge, so beautiful that it is not likely to have an equivalent in the whole world".

This bridge is connected with the tragic page in the history of China. In 1937 the Japanese aggressors organized the provocation which was the reason for the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War.

I got to the bridge using the subway. First I reached Dawayao (大瓦窑 - Dàwǎyáo) station of the14th line, and then from there I took a taxi for a short ride. Entrance to the bridge is by tickets. The ticket costs 20 yuan.
Sculptures near the entrance to the bridge are dedicated to the history of the construction of the bridge and the Second Sino-Japanese War.
Stele to commemorate Kangxi Emperor who in 1668 ordered to rebuild the eastern part of the bridge after the flood. It is installed above the turtle-dragon bixi (赑屃 - bìxì). Stele is notable by the fact that the inscriptions on it are made in two languages: in Manchu – from the left side, in Chinese – from the right side.
Famous unique and non-repeatable lions with cubs.
At the west direction you can see the overpass of a high-speed rail line.
Wanping Fortress (宛平城 - Wǎnpíngсhéng) is located to the east of the bridge. Its size is 640 meters (0.4 miles) from the east to the west and 320 meters from the north to the south.
The fortress was built in 1638 to protect Beijing from the rebellious peasants led by Li Zicheng (李自成 - Lĭ Zìchéng). There are two gates of the fortress – eastern and western ones (Western gate is shown on the picture).
Chinese People's Anti-Japanese War Memorial Hall.
“Awaken Lion” sculpture.
Eeastern gate of Wanping Fortress.
I went on foot from Wanping Fortress back to the subway (1.5 km / 0.93 miles). The first part of my way passed through a residential area with very brisk trade along the road. Many people walking towards me were carrying bags with white, as I called them at first, "buns". It turned out to be “mantou” (馒头 - mántou), Chinese steamed small bread. They are without filling, have blank taste and a little bit half-baked for me. They are very popular. I saw many times that employees of stores ate them with their dinner with relish.

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