Sunday, 4 December 2011

Bridges of Ancient China

One of the things said about China is that it has four million bridges, whether that is true or not they must have the most elegant. The first stamp shows the most famous stone bridge in China, Anji Bridge sometimes called Zhaozhou or safe crossing bridge. It was constructed in the years 595-605 and is the oldest (standing) bridge in China. It has survived wars, floods and earthquakes yet it is still in use.
Precious Belt Bridge near the city of Suzhou, legend has it that the local prefect Wang Zhongshu sold his "precious belt" to help finance the construction in 816 AD. The three central arches are larger than the rest to allow river vessels through.
This bridge started life in ancient times as the Zhupu Bridge then it was rebuilt as Pingshi but burned down during the wars that ended the Ming dynasty, today it is the Anlan Bridge, a suspension bridge that was rebuilt in 1803 by He Xiande and his wife (I could not find her name, guess we will have to call her Mrs He).  The name of Anlam means couple so sometimes it is called the Husband and Wife Bridge. Today it is a popular tourist destination and when this stamp was issued in 1962 it was still constructed of bamboo but in recent times because of the numbers of people crossing, the bamboo ropes are now steel and the wooden pegs supporting cables are ferro-concrete. The span also now crosses a greater distance of the Minjiang River.

So there you have three ways of crossing a river, I am missing the last in this set so include this view of a bridge connecting two countries
a postcard of a "Bridge between Burma and China". I can't make out the name of the bridge because it has been printed over the dark of the trees. The river may be the Mekong, other candidates could be the Nanka or Sheweli.  No indication on the back just that it is Postcard No 40 issued by the American Baptist Mission Press, Rangoon, Burma.   I just wonder what the person on the bridge is wearing. 

An entry to Viridian Postcards' Sunday Stamps

7 comments:

Bob Scotney said...

What a post or should I say what bridges? Thanks for the information on each bridge. I thought Yarm Bridge was old being built in 1400, but the age of these is phenomenal. Great designs on the stamps.

9teen87 said...

You have an amazing blog!

Postcardy said...

I love those stamps. The elongated shape really shows off the bridges. The postcard says "bamboo bridge between Burma and China."

I looked at the enlargement on my computer, but sometimes it helps to tilt the card in good light to see the hidden words.

viridian said...

I love that first bridge very much - so beautiful. thanks for participating.

VioletSky said...

I like that the stamps are rectangular to really accentuate the bridges. And what an age they are!!

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

They are such beautiful bridges, I hope they are never replaced.

My first reaction to the person on the last bridge was that he/she was carrying someone piggy back.

Dorincard said...

Great post, and well-researched. Your blog deserves your first name! :)