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Underwater but it's not forgotten

By Wang Zhenghua in Jiangjiazhen, Zhejiang (China Daily)

08:57, May 10, 2012

Zhejiang's Chun'an county government plans to revive the culture of Lion City, which has been submerged under Qiandaohu, or Thousand Island Lake, since 1959, by creating an ancient-style commercial street in Jiangjiazhen.

Wu Min, office manager of Hangzhou Qiandaohu Xintiandi Property Co, the project's developer, says the government has designated a plot near Lion City Museum on the southwest corner of the lake. Planning is in the preliminary stage.

Construction of Lion City started in AD 621, although most of the buildings were built during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, Wu says.

The street's architecture is the Hui style, which is characterized by white buildings, gray-tile roofs and the horse-head wall (which descends along the angle of the roof like a staircase).

It was not revealed how much the project will cost or when the street will open.

Lion City, along with the older town of He Cheng, which is also submerged under Qiandaohu, have been preserved like time capsules.

Since the construction of Xin'anjiang Reservoir in 1959 and the relocation of its residents, the urban centers have remained intact underwater. They were thereby saved from destruction during the "cultural revolution" (1966-76), when numerous ancient buildings were torn down.

Lion City, near Five Lion Mountains from which it takes its namesake in Sui'an county, comprises pagodas, memorial arches, a town god's temple, academies and tombs.

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