As one of the most famous water townships in China, Zhouzhuang locates only 30 kilometers southeast of Suzhou. The town occupies an area of half a square kilometer, and 60 percent of the blocks were built during the year from 1368 to 1911. This town was donated to Full Fortune Temple by Zhou Digong in 1086, and got its present name as a memorial of the donor. The well-preserved ancient residence, the elegant watery views, the profound cultural background and the strong traditions made up the noted Zhouzhuang. You can take a gondola and watch the breathtaking sights one by one.
Zhouzhuang is surrounded and divided by lakes and rivers so that stone bridges can be found everywhere. Twin Bridges is the most famous scenic spots in Zhouzhuang and it was considered the symbol of the town. Built in late 16th century, Twin Bridges is in the northeast of the town. The Twin Bridges consists of Yongan Bridge and Shide Bridge. Yongan Bridge is north-south and the bridge arch is square while Shide Bridge is east-west and has a round arch. The two bridges cross the two crisscross rivers and connect at the middle.
Built in 1355, the unique trait of the Fuan Bridge is the perfect combination of the single-arched bridge and the bridge towers. The tower is used as restaurants, tearooms and stores and it is also a good place to appreciate the views while taking a rest.
Located at the southeast side of Fuan Bridge, Shen House was built in 1742. It was the private property of the descendant of a millionaire in 15th century. The whole architectural complex occupies an area of more than 2,000 square meters Ming's style. The whole house can be divided into three sections and the 100 rooms are connected by aisles and arcades. The first part is the water gate and the wharf. The middle part includes the gate tower, the tearoom and the main hall. The brick gate tower is a rare artwork which was carved with lively and ingenious figures. Tea room and main hall are used for serving guests and the furnishings here are all very elegant. The last section is the two-storied dwelling. It consists of several buildings, more comfortable and refined in pattern and atmosphere, which are quite different from the others.
Located to the south of the Twin Bridges, Zhang House takes up about 1,800 square meters and has more than 70 rooms. Ruojing River flows through the house. It has tranquil courtyard and pond, dapper and graceful residential house, and deep halls, which represent the life of the quondam owner.
Milou Tower locates at the southwest corner of Zhouzhuang. It was once used as an assemblying place for the literators in old times. Milou Tower becomes charming for the spread of poems, songs and stories.
Chengxu Taoist Temple
Known as Sanctity Hall, Chengxu Taoist Temple Stands oppositing to Puqing Bridge on Zhongshi Street. The temple was built from 1086 to 1093. It becomes one of the most famous Taoist temples after several periods of expansion. Halls like Shengdi and Doumu and pavilions like Yuhuang, Wenchang and Shengdi stand in an area of 1,500 square meters, which are really elaborate works and masterpieces of Taoist architectures.
The sightseeing sites in introduction are just a little part of the whole attractions in Zhouzhuang. The dragon boat race and the granny tea or the Wansan home-style banquet is the other attraction which cannot be forgotten when visiting Zhouzhuang and zhouzhuang itself is the picture where you toured. The admission fee is CNY 100 per adult.