Marco Polo Bridge (Lugou Bridge)

Marco Polo Bridge, also known as the Lugou Bridge, is reputed for countless finely carved lions on the railings on both sides. It was described by the famous Italian traveler Marco Polo as a stunning bridge in his book, hence the name. This historic structure that crosses the Yongding River is situated 9 miles (15km) southwest of Tiananmen, the center of Beijing.

Lu Gou Bridge

Lugou Bridge

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Construction of the original bridge on this site commenced in 1189 and was completed in 1192 and was later reconstructed in 1698. It is 874 feet (266.5m) in length and 30.5 feet (9.3m) in width, supported on 281 pillars. On each pillar stands a stone lion. The most intriguing feature of these beasts is the fact that there are more lions hiding on the head, back or under the belly or on paws of each big lion. Investigations to determine the total number of animals have been carried out on several occasions but the results have proved inconsistent, ranging from 482 to 496. However, record has it that there were originally a total of 627 lions. The posture of each lion varies, so do their ages. Most date from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, some are from the earlier Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368); while the few lions dating back to as long as the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) are now quite rare.

Four ornamental columns each 15 feet (4.65 meters) high and a white marble stele stand at the ends of the bridge. One stele records the reconstruction of the bridge by Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in 1698. The other stele bears calligraphy by Emperor Qianlong, the grandson of Kangxi. It reads 'Morning moon over Lugou', and for the 700 years since its completion, the bridge has been a well known scenic spot in the city.

Not only famed for its aesthetic features, the Marco Polo Bridge is also considered to be an architectural masterpiece. It is built of solid granite, with a large central arch flanked by ten smaller ones. Each of the ten piers is protected by triangular iron pillars that have been installed to prevent flood and ice.

Stone lions on the bridge

Stone Carvings, Marco Polo Bridge

Marco Polo Bridge Incident

The bridge holds a very special place in the modern history of China, and more for painful memories rather than its stunning beauty or amazing architectural achievement. It was on this bridge that the eight-year-long Sino-Japanese War broke up on July 7th 1937. The Japanese Army claimed to search Wanping County which is near the bridge for a lost solider, but was refused by the Chinese Army. Then the Japanese launched military operations against China. People call the start of the war Marco Polo Bridge Incident or Double Seventh Incident. The war was culminated with the surrender of Japan in 1945. For further information in this connection, please see The Memorial Hall to the Victims in the Nanjing Massacre.

How to get to Marco Polo Bridge

 By Bus:
1. Take bus 309, 329, 339, 458, 459, 624, 661, 662 or 952 and get off at Lugou Xinqiao Station.
2. Take bus 77, 96, 97, 133, 310, 313, 452, 843, 896, 983, or Fast Transit Line 45, 97, 145, or Special Line 17 and get off at Kangzhan Diaosuyuan (Sculpture Garden) Station.
 By Subway:
Take Subway Line 14 and get off at Dawayao Station. Get out from Exit D. Then take bus 339 at Xidaokou Bei Station and get off at Lugou Xinqiao Station.
Beijing Bus / Subway Search

Admission Fee: CNY 20
Opening Hours: April - October: 07:00 to 20:00
November - March: 07:00 to 18:00

 Nearby Attractions:
Wanping City Wall (Admission fee: CNY 3)
Sculpture Garden (free of charge and open during 08:00 - 17:00, closed on Monday)
Lugou Bridge History Museum

 Recommended Itinerary:
Beijing One Day Tour: Sino-Japanese War Sculpture Garden - Wanping City - Marco Polo Bridge
More Beijing Tours

You May Like: 12 Best Places to Visit near Beijing

- Last updated on Jan. 08, 2022 -
Questions & Answers on Marco Polo Bridge
Asked by Roza from ISRAEL | May. 05, 2019 00:08Reply
What is the best way now to Beijing Marco Polo Bridge from Wanfujing street?
Answers (1)
Answered by Emilie from FRANCE | May. 07, 2019 01:42

Take Metro Line 1 from Wangfujing to Wanshou Rd. Station. Get out of the Exit A1 and walk west about 150m to take Bus Line 624 to Lugou Xinqiao (卢沟新桥).
Asked by Soma sh from INDIA | Dec. 09, 2017 01:03Reply
I am in Guangzhou . What's the best way to reach Puyang . Please help.
Answers (1)
Answered by Brace from NEW ZEALAND | Dec. 10, 2017 21:24

You can take a flight to Zhengzhou first, which takes about 2h. And then you can catch an intercity bus from the airport to your destination. The bus takes about 2h 30 minutes and CNY80.
Asked by Edwin from SINGAPORE | Apr. 02, 2017 19:44Reply
How to travel to Puyang when I am at Zhengzhou International Airport?
Answers (1)
Answered by Aria from USA | Apr. 04, 2017 22:37

Hi, the transportation is quite convenient. You can take the direct coach from Zhengzhou Airport to the destination. The coaches depart at 09:50, 10:50, 11:50, 12:50, 13:50, 14:50, 15:50, 16:50, 17:50, 18:50, 19:50, 20:50 and 22:00. The ticket fare is CNY 80/person.
Asked by Malcolm from UK | Feb. 17, 2016 09:31Reply
Best way to get from the Beijing Old Central Radio/Television Tower to Lugou Bridge.
After visiting the old Central Radio TV Tower, we would like to make our way to visit the the bridge, taking subway or buses and using the smart card. Please help to devise a route plan.
Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Joe from UNITED KINGDOM | Feb. 18, 2016 18:42

There is no direct metro line to the place. So, taking a bus may be a better choice. You may take bus line 624 from Aerospace Bridge South Station to Lugou New Bridge Station. Then, walk north along 5th Ring Road for about 600 yards to the bridge. ;)
Asked by Maria from CHINA | Apr. 09, 2014 21:43Reply
How can I get to Beijing Lugou Bridge? L1+Bus 624 or L14?
Is still the Wukesong L1 (Exit D) + Bus 624 the easiest to get to the Marco Polo Bridge? Os should I take the Line 14 to Garden Expo Park Station?
Thanks a lot!
Answers (2)
Answered by Jerry from USA | Apr. 10, 2014 01:02

i think the bus line 624 is much easier to the Marco Polo Bridge.
If you plan to use subway line 14, you need to change to subway line 10 at Gongzhufen Station and take line 10 to reach Xiju Station to change to subway line 14 to Garden Expo Park. The Garden Expo Park is still about 4km and you still need to take a taxi to reach.
If you use subway line 1 + bus line 624, you will reach the front to site and just need to walk several minutes to that bridge.
Answered by Maria from SPAIN | Apr. 10, 2014 20:04

Thank you!
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