Nanxun — The Least Known Water Town

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Nanxun District is a district in the prefecture-level city of Huzhou, Zhejiang province, China. Nanxun Town, an old town located in the district, about 120 kilometers to the west of Shanghai, 65 kilometers to the south of Suzhou and 125 to the north of Hangzhou. 

In the Qing Dynasty, the bustling town was the focus of many wealth merchants, many of whom once engaged in business and settle down here. Locals vividly describe the amount of their property by the physical size of elephant, cow and dog. Generally believed that the “elephant” means the ones who owned more than 1.002 million, “cow” means the ones who owned about from 500 thousand to 1 million, and those owned 300 thousand to 500 thousand called “dog”. 

Today, Nanxun still keep its scenic views of a water town with ancient houses well preserved while developing an atmosphere of modern times with high-rises standing here and there. There are two stone bridges on each side at the entrance of Xiangmen Street. Although they are not so well known as the “double bridge” in Zhouzhuang, but the “double-bridge noodle restaurant” is rather famous in Nanxun. It is a rather pleasant thing to join in the crowded locals to eat noodles on the small table beside the river.

Along the street in front of the noodle restaurant, there are a lot of shops, including some old Rice Merchants and grocery stores, as well as a private dwelling whose facade is not very prominent. 

the hall side the house

There are wood carvings of ancient seal characters on the doors and windows of the hall, most are auspicious words. 

This is a two-story western-style building, and there is iron fence on the second floor. The whole building is red, decorated with western-style relief, iron, tiles, Roman pillars, etc., quite elegant. 

Not far away there is a Taoist temple Guanghui Palace.

Outside the palace there is a Guanghui bridge, with a single-hole stone arch. In front of the bridge is a pair of exquisite stone lions, full of three-dimensional effect.

Across the Guanghui Bridge is the Silk Hall, which was founded in 1926. It is a Chinese and western style building, displaying many manual and woven silk productions. 

The other side of the river, there is a Xingfu Bridge, reading “no fishing” on the bridge railing. 

Qiushuli was a villa built in 1903.

There are several toad-like animals on the top of the gate, which was said to be the trademark of the owners’ business. 

There are photography works displaying in the villa.

Jiayetang Library, one of the four ancient libraries in Zhejiang, is located at the riverside of Partridge Creek. 

The warehouses toward the courtyard are equipped with floor to ceiling windows, for ventilation and lighting. There is a traditional Chinese character on every window, unique.

The main hall, with Qing-style furniture made from the rare red Lei Muk

Little Lotus Villa is a famous private garden in south China, with this lotus pond as the center of the Garden, compact design, and really the essence of southern waterside buildings.

This building is the only Western-style buildings in the garden.

There is a picture carved with lotus and mandarin ducks made of Phoebe bournei on the wall, and can be called a model of art.

In order not to have a sense of long and stiff for the corridor, start with a pavilion in the north, a semi-circular pavilion in the middle, and end with fan-shape pavilion in the south, and the corner is a tall "charity" Square. 

two exquisite carving arches

Liu's family temple was built in 1888.

There are four stone carvings on both sides of northern corridor, carved with Fukurokuju and the Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea pattern.

Yide hall

The characters on the tablet were written by Kang Youwei. 

Windows upstairs mounted with blue crystal glass which imported from France a, blue and white, and what strange is that the windows keep clean even though never scrub them. 

Banana Hall 

“Eagle Rock”, one of three precious rocks in Nanxun 

Two tall Western-style houses in the Zhang's former residence

Among the famous water towns in the Yangtze River, Nanxun is the least known one, but it was a most prosperous one. 

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