- Private boat ride along the river.
The Street, also known as Seven-mile Shantang, is a street in northwestern Gusu District, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China. The street connects Changmen in the east with Huqiu in the west, with a total length of about 3,829.6 meters (2.38 miles), or a little more than seven li or traditional “Chinese miles”. Due to the great history and events involving the street it is sometimes stated as being the “First Street in Shuzou”.
Construction of the Shantang Canal started in 825 AD, during the Tang Dynasty by Bai Juyi, a poet and the Cishi (modern-day equivalent of the prefectural governor) of Suzhou, to provide a link between Huqiu and the city. The sludge dug out from the construction formed a dam along the north bank of the canal known as Baigong Dam in honor of Bai Juyi. A street was built on dam, which later became the modern-day Shantang Street.
Along with Pingjiang Road, the street was declared a Historical and cultural block of China in 2015.
Today, it is a popular tourist destination with visitors being attracted by the heritage nature of the buildings and the various old stone bridges, such as Tongui Bridge that is a typical Qing Dynasty granite arch bridge in Suzhou. It is in harmony with the surrounding scenery of Shantang Street. It is an excellent scenic spot on Shantang Street. It is now well preserved and has a certain cultural relic value.
Ancient Performance Stage
The ancient stage of Shantang Street is located on the west side of Tonggui Bridge.
It is an ancient stage that was “relocated and rebuilt”. The stage was originally located in the “Wai’an Qiwang Temple” (An Temple) at No. 68 “Donghui Road”. In 2003, the ancient stage in the temple was moved to Shantang Street and was listed as an ancient stage in the “Suzhou City Control and Protection Building” which covers an area of 310 square meters, with a construction area of 362 square meters.
Sitting on the stage facing north and south, Daiwa knotted its roof with cornices. The granite stone slab paved in front of the stage is used as a place for tourists to watch the show. The wing buildings on both sides have been turned into cultural venues such as a bookstore and a collection of old photos. The stage is square with two floors above and below. The ground floor is built with half walls, and the walls are equipped with wooden glass windows. Four square stone pillars at the four corners support the stage above. The stage is shaped like a hanging mountain, forming a “dragon kiss spine”.
Source: Your China Specialists