Zhouzhuang, located in Suzhou, is known as one of the Six Ancient Towns in the south of the Yangtze River. Zhouzhuang was founded in North Song Dynasty and got its name from Digong Zhou. Mr. Zhou donated the land to build the Quanfu Temple, so the land was called Zhouzhuang. For its long history, typical feature and unique humanism, Zhouzhuang was awarded as the gem of Chinese water towns and local culture.
Comparing to other ancient towns, Zhouzhuang is more outstanding for the urban planning, the architecture, and the bridges. Zhouzhuang was built into the shape of sudokus following the river channels, so there are docks at every house. Zhouzhuang was the hometown of Shen Fu, a rich merchant in the Ming Dynasty, so the architectures are in the wealthy and grand style comparing to other ancient towns. Because the river channels cross the town, the local people built 14 bridges to connect the different blocks from the Yuan Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty. When you are walking in the town, you could see the harmonious scene that contains the old bridges, the crossing rivers, and the ancient houses.
Zhouzhuang broadcasts its fame not only with its charm but also the help from some celebrities. The artwork Memories of Hometown by Chen Yifei, with the theme of the bridges, made Zhouzhuang famous at home and abroad. Wu Guanzhong once wrote "Huangshan gathers the beauty of Chinese mountains and rivers, and Zhouzhuang gathers the beauty of China's water towns". After that, newspapers overseas rushed to quote this saying and called Zhouzhuang, which is The No.1 Water Town in China. You may be interested to know some photography tips and the best photography places in Zhouzhuang, so that you can take some stunning pictures.
Water is the spirit of the water towns. Rowing a black boat on the river, crossing the ancient buildings in full bloom, Zhouzhuang is preparing a visual feast for the audience with the black stone bridge, blue sky and clear water. Zhouzhuang is the typical water town in southeastern China, and its symbol is the bridge over the following stream. Therefore, the bridge is the No.1 theme for photography in Zhouzhuang.
Fu An Bridge is the oldest bridge in Zhouzhuang. Built in the Yuan Dynasty, it is the only vertical architecture that bridge and wall is built together among the water towns. Local people have a saying that walking three times on Fu An Bridge will lead to a successful career. Standing on the bridge, you could appreciate the beautiful view of water allies. Shooting from the west side of Fu An Bridge, you could get the satisfying photos with the features of water town, such as a small stream, ancient buildings and old bridges.
Actually, the Double Bridge means two bridges, which are Shi De Bridge and Yong An Bridge, which was built in the Ming Dynasty. These two bridges are also called Key Bridge because the shape of the holes looks like a key in ancient China.
The reflection on the river forms a standard circle with the bridge, which makes it distinctive and popular among the photographers.
Shuangqiao can best embody the charm of the ancient town. Chen Yifei created an oil painting titled Memories of Hometown, which Shuangqiao is a creative background. Since then, Shuangqiao has become the carrier of the history and culture of water towns and the symbol of beauty. As a representative of the water town in the south of China, Zhouzhuang Ancient Town has been renowned all over the world.
In Zhouzhuang, you could find all the buildings are in the style of the Ming and Qing Dynasty, which is very simple in color and united in structure. Therefore, Zhouzhuang is very suitable for minimalist photography. It would be the impressive photos that merge the vivid scenes of life into the simple white walls and black floor.
Located in the south area of Zhouzhuang, you could find Mansion of Shen in Nanshi Street. As the most representative building in Zhouzhuang, Shen Mansion attracts the visitors with its long history and delicate architecture. Stepping into the house, you will be surrounded by the antique flavor, and you seem to be back to the ancient time.
After five hundred years of vicissitudes of life, the Mansion of Zhang still attracts people with its solid stone pillars and exquisite carving. The hall is spacious and bright, and the court column was built with the rare wooden drum under the pier, which is a clear sign of the Ming dynasty architecture. The backyard is a quiet little garden which is surrounded by the local-style dwelling houses with white walls and black floors. While listening to the stories of the mansion, you could still feel the things and people that ever lived here.
After the introduction of famous places for photography, it is better to know the different situations at different times and seasons.
Zhouzhuang has become widely known in the last century, so it is relatively commercial comparing to other ancient towns. There are crowds for daytime in Zhouzhuang, so it is recommended to get up early if you would like to take some good photos.
The nighttime in Zhouzhuang could really show its beauty. It is recommended to stay overnight in Zhouzhuang if you had enough time. When the lights lit up, it seems to be back to ancient times, which is magical and romantic.
For its location and climate, Zhouzhuang is open rainy in spring. The rain could always inspire you and create the good pictures. The southern misty rain is the main melody in Zhouzhuang.
In southeastern China, you could see snow in winter, but it would not be very cold. It is another atmosphere when the snow falls on the floors of the building and the small boats. The town is quiet, and it is a good time to avoid the crowds.
We hope that the photography tips could help you have a full understanding of Zhouzhuang and provide you enough information to take the good photos. If you would like to plan a trip to Zhouzhuang, please feel free to contact us, and we would be glad to make you a satisfied tour.
Zhouzhuang is a must-see place if you are a fan of ancient China architectures. And it is recommended to connect your trip with Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Suzhou for the short distance among these cities.