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Luzhi town: No.1 water town in China

People's Daily Online)  08:06, March 11, 2013  

(chinapic.people.com.cn)

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Located in Wuzhong District, 18 kilometers east of Suzhou in east China's Jiangsu province, Luzhi is an old but extremely beautiful water town. With a history of more than 1400 years, it compares favorably to Zhouzhuang Town. Covering just one square kilometer, it has been awarded the great name of 'No.1 water town in China'.

The natural beauty of the town is indescribable. Old stone bridges, limpid water, venerable maidenhair trees and old-style dwellings, as well as the traditional women's costumes, create an ideal 'civilized, rich, pastoral and harmonious' environment. A walk in the ancient town Luzhi is said to be a walk into history frozen in time, tranquil and serene. In addition, Luzhi town is noted for several historic and cultural relics, such as Baosheng temple, the Wansheng Rice Company and the White Lotus Flower Temple of the North Song dynasty.

The town's most notable features are its numerous quaint stone bridges, which were built in the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. Owing to that, Luzhi deserves its reputation as a 'Museum of Chinese Ancient Bridges'. At one time, there were 72 bridges in the tiny town; 41 still exist and are well preserved. All the bridges are different in design and style, among which Zhengyang Bridge and Dongmei Bridge are considered especially noteworthy.

Another feature of the town is the distinctive traditional costumes worn by the women. Both clothes and trousers are characteristically pieced together using different cotton materials in a variety of designs. In addition to wearing these clothes, local women are accustomed to wearing colorful kerchiefs and embroidered shoes. Undoubtedly, these lovely local women wearing traditional Luzhi-style costumes add freshness and loveliness to the water town, like a beautiful landscape picture.

In 2003, the Chinese government published a list of "Ten Famous Chinese Historical Townships", with Luzhi featured on this list. In 2004, Luzhi was awarded a Township Preservation Award by UNESCO.

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(Editor:DuMingming、Zhang Qian)

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