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Wuzhen(烏鎮) lies at the north of Tongxiang City of Zhejiang Province, and at the center of the triangle formed by Hangzhou, Suzhou and Shanghai. The town covers an area of 71.19km². It is divided into four zones by a cross-shaped river, with the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal running across the town, making it the only ancient water town adjacent to the canal. The town lies on the Hangzhou-Jiaxing-Huzhou Alluvial Plain, with no hills but interlaced rivers. Due to its warm and humid climate, and abundant rainfalls and sunshine, the products here are rich, making Wuzhen well-known as “the town of fish, rice, and silk”.

Wuzhen enjoys a history of over 1,000 years since its establishment in 872 A.D. However, according to the textual research of the Tanjiawan site, one of the important cultural relics under state protection, ancestors of Wuzhen had lived here at the New Stone Age 7,000 years ago. The ancient Grand Canal nurtured the splendid culture of Wuzhen, and the long historic accumulation endowed Wuzhen with sound cultural deposits. Over more than 1,000 years, Wuzhen has never changed its name, address, water system or lifestyle. The traditional buildings are still well preserved after crossing so many rough years. Within the town, with a dense network of rivers and wharves, people build their houses along the river and establish markets close to bridges. Stone railings and arch bridges, arched gates across the street, imposing dwellings and spacious courtyards, river banks and verandas are all well preserved, presenting an original ecological scene of a water town in Jiangnan (the South of Yangtze River). Within the town, there are now more than 40 hectares of late 19th century original buildings, and more than 100 ancient stone bridges of different shapes. It is just like a natural museum of ancient architecture. In the town, watercourses and flagstone streets extend in all directions and intercross here and there. The native residents live peacefully in their old houses by water, just like their ancestors do long time ago.

Wuzhen has become a living fossil of ancient oriental civilization for its profound history and culture, graceful water town scenery, unique-flavored delicious foods, various and colorful folk-customs and festivals. It’s a kind of beauty that naturally endowed. While displaying the extraordinary charming of Chinese ancient culture and the soul of the oriental life, Wuzhen has become a disseminator of traditional culture and an emissary of the communication between China and foreign countries.












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