Tangqi Ancient Town, Hangzhou – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

tangqi ancient town hangzhou

Tangqi Ancient Town (塘栖古镇), located in Hangzhou, marks the starting point of the Hangzhou section of the Grand Canal, which stretches through Beijing and Hangzhou. Established during the Northern Song Dynasty, Tangqi flourished during the Yuan Dynasty, becoming a bustling town. In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, it stood as a prosperous center, earning the title of the “leading town in Jiangnan.” The town’s layout is characterized by crisscrossing waterways and a dense network of canals, representing the quintessential charm of a Jiangnan water town.

Renowned for its ancient significance, Tangqi is also famous for its prized produce, particularly the loquats. Every late May, when the loquats turn golden, the town comes alive with festivities, attracting visitors, especially from Hangzhou, who come to savor the delicious fruit.

Tangqi Ancient Town is an open and freely accessible area, with narrow winding streets that provide a glimpse into its rich history. Several attractions, including the Guangji Bridge, Qianlong Imperial Stele, Guo Pu Well, and the Grand Canal Warehouse Museum, offer a deeper understanding of Tangqi’s role as a historical hub for water transportation.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of TourHalf a day
Ticket PriceFree
Opening Hours24 hours a day throughout the year
Telephone Number0086-0571-86375531

Location and Transportation

Tangqi Ancient Town is situated in the Linping District of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, approximately 20 kilometers away from the city center. To get there, you can take bus 2611, 2670, or 2694 and get off at Xixiaohe Street and Yuanman Street Stop (西小河街圆满路口站).

Highlights of Tangqi Ancient Town

Guangji Bridge (Bitian Bridge or Tongji Bridge)

guangji bridge in tangqi ancient town

The Guangji Bridge, also known as Bitian Bridge or Tongji Bridge, stands as a magnificent seven-arch stone bridge spanning the ancient Grand Canal. With a length of 78.7 meters and a width of 6.12 meters, the bridge features 80 stone steps, plain stone railings, and intricate carvings of clouds embracing drums and 64 ornate pillars. The central arch has a span of 15.69 meters, with the inscription “Hongzhi Era, Second Year” carved on the top arch. Although the exact construction date is unknown, legends suggest its completion during the Tang Dynasty’s Baoli reign. In the Ming Dynasty’s Hongzhi era, the bridge collapsed, leading the locals to rely on ferries. Chen Shouqing, a noble from Ningbo, took it upon himself to raise funds for the reconstruction. Chen traveled to the capital, Beijing, on a ferry, chained to himself to symbolize his dedication. The royal family and officials were moved by his commitment, contributing substantial funds. After nine years of efforts, the seven-arch bridge was completed in 1498, marking a significant historical achievement.

Qianlong Imperial Stele

qianlong imperial stele in tangqi ancient town

The Qianlong Imperial Stele, located within the former Hangzhou Water Conservancy Judge’s Office in Shuibei Street, stands at a height of 5.45 meters. The stele, with a height of 1 meter and a width of 1.5 meters, features a relief carving of two dragons playing with a pearl on its top. Erected in the 16th year of the Qianlong Emperor’s reign (1751), the stele commemorates the emperor’s southern inspection tour. During the inspection, the emperor learned of the grain situation in Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Anhui provinces. To commend Zhejiang for its prompt payment, the emperor issued an edict inscribed on the stele, exempting it from additional financial burdens, a testament to the region’s loyalty and diligence.

Canal Warehouse Museum

Canal Warehouse Museum in tangqi ancient town

The Canal Warehouse Museum, situated at the southwest corner of the Imperial Stele Park in Shuibei Street, boasts a sunken design across an area of approximately 4,500 square meters. It stands as a unique national museum, focusing on the theme of granaries throughout different historical periods. The museum explores the cultural relationship between the Grand Canal transportation system and granaries, as well as the significance of granaries in human survival, cultural progress, the emergence of civilization, the rise of cities, and the dynamics between human wars and peace. By utilizing elements of agricultural and storage cultures, the museum creates a leisure space that combines traditional cultural connotations with contemporary spirit.

Grand Canal Heritage Exhibition Hall – Tangqi Guangji Bridge

Grand Canal Heritage Exhibition Hall in tangqi ancient town

Located in Shuinan Street, this exhibition hall provides an in-depth overview of the Grand Canal, particularly focusing on the basic situation of the Hangzhou section of the Grand Canal in Jiangnan. It narrates the historical development of Tangqi, born and thriving due to the Grand Canal. The exhibition delves into various aspects of the Guangji Bridge, including its history, renovations, cultural value, scientific construction, and technological principles. The second floor houses the Tangqi Town Urban Planning Museum, spanning a total area of 640 square meters and divided into four exhibition areas: the introductory hall, leadership care, historical evolution, modern development, and future outlook.

The theme of the exhibition revolves around “New Era, New Vision, New Perspective,” leveraging modern multimedia technology to showcase the traditional culture of Tangqi alongside the vitality of the new city. The museum provides a comprehensive narrative of Tangqi Ancient Town’s past, present, and future, offering visitors a dynamic and immersive experience.

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