Grand Canal Tour in China 11 – Liaocheng Tou
Trip Start Aug 27, 2011
16Trip End Sep 16, 2011
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Where I stayed
Changrun Hotel (4Star)
What I did
the Small Wharf and Big Wharf along the Grand Canal
Shanxi and Shaanxi Commercial Guild Hall
Iron Pagoda by the side of the Grand Canal
Dongchang Lake and the old Liaocheng City in the middle of the Lake
Guangyue Tower in the middle of the Old City
China Grand Canal Culture Museum
On the morning of 11Sep, we left Jining for Liaocheng city which is located to the north of Yellow River – the 2nd Largest River and also the Mother River in China.
We crossed the Yellow River on the express way. Then turned back to the bank of Yellow River to have a close view on this famous river. It took around 20 km to come back to the bank of Yellow River. After around 30 minutes on the bank and took many photos, we returned to the Express Way to continue our drive to Liaocheng City.
We arrive at Liaocheng City at around 13:00 in the afternoon. After a simple lunch
On the morning of 12Sep, we got to the olc Liaocheng City to enjoy the morning scenery of the spacious Lake – it is very hard to find so big lake in the center of a city in northern China, it is because normally, the northern China cities are lack of water. And we also took some pictures on the Guangyue Tower in the middle of the Old City. Then we left Liaocheng to Cangzhou City and Tianjin City.
The followings are some introductions on the places we have visited in Liaocheng.
Liaocheng City,also called Water City in North China, is located in the north west of Shandong Province, to the north bank of the Yellow River. It is as central city in the border land area of 3 provinces - Shandong, Hebei and Henan
The name of Liao Cheng comes from Liao River which was in the current Liaocheng area around 2500 years ago. And at that time, there was a little state here called Liao. So now this area is called Liao Cheng (Cheng means "city").
The history of Liaocheng is very long. Inside Liaocheng area, we have found 100 Longshan Culture Ruins - which is dated back to 6000 or 7000 years ago. Among it, there is a very big primitive site which was thought as the capital city for the current middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River at that time.
In 608 when Emperor Suiyang built up the Grand Canal, Linqing Town(which is located in the current Liaocheng area - around 60km to the nouth of Liaocheng Proper) has became a key traffic hub along the canal. After the Grand Canal being cut off and the direct canal between Beijing and Hangzhou being built up between 1281 and 1293 in Yuan Dynasty, Liaocheng has been keeping booming. Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1616-1912) is the golden period and prime time for Liaocheng because of the Canal Transportation
The speciality of Liaocheng is: the old city of Liaocheng is in the middle of Dongchang Lake. This lake is a man made lake with the area of 4.2 skm. It is only a little smaller than the West Lake in Hanghzou. The West Lake in Hangzhou is 5.66 skm. Viewing the from the bank of Dongchang Lake, the city is like floating on the water! It is very rare to have such a big lake in the north China.
Old Liao Cheng City in the middle of Dong Chang Lake The Corner Tower of the Liaocheng City
The building of the Dongchang Lake began from 1070 in Song Dynasty. In order to build the city, laborers take the clay fromthe land around the city, gradually such a big lake being build up.
The old city of Liaocheng is in square shape and only 1 s km large
This tower is 33m high, the side length is 34.5m. The stone base of it is 9m high. The main building is 4 floors with 112 steps, 192 collumns and over 200 corbel brackets.
There were many wharves along the Grand Canal in Liaocheng. But now only the Small Wharf and Big Wharf are still with some sites left. The Big Wharf is 17.5m long and 5.8 wide. It is the government wharf. Small Wharf is located around 300m to the north of Big Wharf. It is a Businessmen wharf.
Shanxi and Shaanxi Commercial Guild Hall is located by the side of Grand Canal, very near to the Big Wharf
The Iron Pagoda located by the side of Grand Canal. Here originally it is Longxing Temple. There is no record to show exactly when this Pagoda being built. But presumptively, this Pagoda was built in around 1000 during Song Dynasty. This is the oldest building in Liaocheng.
In 1973, government renovated it. During the renovation, a small stone coffin, copper Buddha statue, porcelain bottle and some ancient coins were discovered. The inscription on the surface of the coffin shows that the original iron pagoda was collapsed during the Yongle Reign in Ming Dynasty (1403-1424), then it was rebuilt during the Tianshun Reign (1436—1464). Now it is 13 floors, around 15.8m high.
China Grand Canal Culture Museum is situated by the side of the Dongchang Lake and the Grand Canal in the heart of Liaocheng City. The total building area of the museum is around 10,000 sm with the exhibition area, collection area and study area. In the middle on the first floor, there is a very big model of the Dongchang city. We can clearly enjoyed the total Dongchang city with the lake and the Grand Canal in it. On the 2nd floor, there are some exhibitions halls to show us the history and the construction of the Grand Canal, and its great impact on the culture and economy along the Grand Canal.