Anji Bridge (Zhaozhou Bridge)

Anji Bridge Fun Facts

Location:  above  Xiaohe River of Zhao County & in the center of Zhaozhou Bridge Park
History: built in the Daye period (605-618 A.D.) of the Sui Dynasty (581-618 A.D.)
Type: open-spandrel stone arch bridge
 

Zhaozhou Bridge, China
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Anji Bridge, also known as Zhaozhou Bridge, is about 25km (15.53 miles) from the southeast of Shijiazhuang City, and it was designed by renowned constructor Li Chun. 

Anji Bridge is the earliest and best-preserved open-spandrel stone arch bridge now in existence. The name was bestowed by Emperor Zhezong of the Song Dynasty (1085-1100 A.D.), meaning ensuring people safe lives and aiding people. Designated by the State Council as being among China's foremost protected monuments in 1961, Anji Bridge was also selected by the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) as the twelfth "milestone of international civil engineering" and a bronze monument was presented by the ASCE.

The first view of the Park that jumps to the eye is the archaic door to the mountain. Anji Bridge stands out as a shining pearl set among the interspersed pavilions, the green grass and the majestic pines. The bridge is restored, but you can still see the relics of the old bridge, which are "national treasures", in the exhibition room. In addition, there are also showrooms with an introduction to the surrounding environment and culture and a model designed for the expansion of Zhaozhou Bridge Park in future. If the whim hits you, you can row a boat on the blue-green water; Meanwhile, you can also have a taste of tea, read the legends of this bridge and get to know the influences of a bridge to the culture of a nation. You can also sit under the pavilions or the trees for comfortable and sweet dreams.

Stone of Zhaozhou Bridge Exhibition in Zhaozhou Bridge Park
With a total length of 64m (211 feet), a span of 37m (121 feet) and a height of 7m (24 feet), the Anji Bridge is a single-arch stone bridge that has the longest span and history. The bridge is sophisticated yet elegantly constructed. Taking in the whole view, you will find it a single-arch bridge. However, it is actually a vertical combination of 28 arches. The two smaller spans in the shoulders of the bridge is an innovation in the history of the bridge construction, giving the stone bridge a fairly pretty design. Why is the Anji Bridge famous? Zhaozhou Bridge has its own architectural features: the greatness of the span and the smoothness of the arc not only cut the use of stone material but also facilitate travel. The two small spans in the two shoulders increase the drainage area to ease the flow of water, cut the use of stone material, lighten the bridge, and enhance the stability. The vertical combination building method makes every arch an independent body so that it would be convenient and economical for construction and restoration.

Zhaozhouqiao in Shijiazhuang, HebeiAnji Bridge historical significance is told by the history of about 1,400 years.Why was the Anji Bridge built? It was used for linking the banks of Xiaohe River. In ancient time, Zhao County is an important place along the only route connecting south and north China, but the route was cut off by the Xiaohe River, making much inconvenience. Therefore, Li Chun was ordered to build a stone bridge over the river. During the years, it has gone through numerous natural disasters, including at least 10 floods, 8 wars and many earthquakes. In year 1996, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake hit Xingtai, about 40km (25 miles) from the bridge, but it remained safe and sound. The great bridge expert MaoYisheng once said, the fact that 1,300 years was enough to prove the integrity of its entire structure, let alone the inner structure of smaller spans. It is documented that the bridge has been restored 9 times since its construction.

The sculptures on the bridge, such as the dragons, flowers and etc, are powerful, elegant, vivid and profound, demonstrating the artistic style and the essence of the Sui sculpture. As important as the Eiffel Tower and the Panama Canal, this bridge is honored as 'the first well-known stone bridge in ancient China.'
 

How to get to Anji Bridge from Shijiazhuang

Take a bus from Shijiazhuang Nanjiao Bus Station to Zhao County, which takes about 1h; and then take a taxi or catch Zhao County Bus 2 to Zhaozhouqiao Jingqu (Zhaozhouqiao Park).
 
Anji Bridge Cost CNY 40;
Free for children under 1.2m (3.9 feet).
Opening Hours 9:00 - 17:00
- Last modified on Aug. 31, 2018 -
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