as one of the most famous water township in China, Zhouzhuang
Village is noted for its profound cultural background,
the well preserved ancient residential house, the elegant
watery views and the strong local colored traditions
Located in the southeast city of Suzhou
and in the southwest of Kunshan county-level city, Zhouzhuang
was known as Zhenfeng Lane in ancient times. In the
Spring and Autumn Period, Zhouzhuang was a part of the
King of Wu and called Yaocheng.
It was called Zhouzhuang after Zhou Digong
donated more than 200 acres to local Quanfu Temple on
the Yuan Dynasty. On the mid-Yuan Dynasty, Shen Wanshan
used the superior geographical advantage to do trade;
hence, Zhouzhuang became a distribution center of food,
silk, ceramics, arts and crafts in the south of China.
It officially named Zhouzhuang town on the beginning
of Qing Dynasty.
Celebrated for its notable historical, cultural
and architectural value, Zhouzhuang lies its splendid
beauty in her many scenic and historical sites such
as Twin Bridge, Fu¡¯an Bridge, Shen House,
Zhang House, Milou Tower, Chengxu Taoist Temple and
Various lakes and rivers can be seen everywhere in Zhouzhuang
as well as many stone bridges across the rivers, of
whom the Twin Bridges, also well known as Shuang Bridge
in Chinese, are the most famed and are considered as
the symbol of this water township.
Built in the Wanli era of Ming Dynasty,
the Twin Bridges comprise of Shide Bridge and Yongan
Bridge, the former of which is east-west and has a round
arch while the latter one is north-south and has a square
arch. Crossing the two crisscross rivers (Yinzi Creek
and Nabeishi River) and connecting at the middle, the
Twin Bridges look like an old-style Chinese key.
Located at the eastern end of Zhongshi Street, Fu¡¯an
Bridge was built in 1355 during the Yuan Dynasty. The
unique trait of the Fu¡¯an is the consummate
combination of the single-arch bridge and the bridge
towers which are used as tearooms, restaurants and stores,
and are good places to appreciate the views while taking
Built in 1742 and located at the southeast side of Fu¡¯an
Bridge, Shen House (sometimes known as Shen Hall) was
the private property of the descendant of Shen Wansan,
the first millionaire of Jiangnan (South of Yangtze
River) in the early Ming Dynasty.
As the largest residential building in Zhouzhuang,
the Shen House is a compound of connecting courtyards,
each surrounded by dwelling quarters. It has over 100
rooms of varying sizes, covering an area of more than
2,000 square meters. And the whole building is built
after a typical "hall after lobby" building
The Shen House was classed as a Focus Cultural
Relic Unit under State Protection of Jiangsu Province
for its imposing appearance, precise layout and exquisite
Located to the south of the Twin Bridges, the Zhang
House was built by Xu's family in the Zhengtong era
of the Ming Dynasty and bought by Zhang's family in
the early Qing Dynasty.
Zhang House has more than 70 rooms and takes
up about 1,800 square meters (less than half an acre).
With Ruojing River flowing through, Zhang House is a
dapper and graceful residential house and has a tranquil
courtyard and pond.
Once called the De's Tavern (Deji Tavern), Milou Tower
is at the southwest corner of Zhouzhuang. It is famous
for being a rallying place of the literators in old
times. Numerous poets, songs and stories about Milou
Tower are wide spread, making it more charming.
Chengxu Taoist Temple
Standing on Zhongshi Street, Chengxu Taoist Temple was
built in Song Dynasty and also known as Sanctity Hall
(Shengtang Hall). After several periods of expansion,
it is one of the most famous Taoist temples in Wuzhong
Region (a district of Suzhou).
In an area of 1,500 square meters (1,800
square yards), simple but majestic Shengdi and Doumu
halls, Yuhuang, Wenchang and Shengdi pavilions are really
elaborate works and masterpieces of Taoist architectures.