Wuzhen is an old town in the south of Yangtze River Delta in China with a history of more than 1300 years. It is located in the north of Tongxiang City, Zhejiang Province, with Huzhou City to the west and close to Wujiang County of Jiangsu Province to its north.

Wuzhen is a representative of the old towns in the south of Yangtze River. Though it has gone through more than 2000 years of historical change, Wuzhen still retains all its original scenes and structures. The cross-shaped inland water system divides the town into four blocks of East, South, West and North, which according to the local people are respectively called "East Grid, South Grid, West Grid, North Grid". The streets are formed along the river all over the town, and are connected with bridges. The houses are also built alongside the river banks, with different styles and delicate woodcarvings and stonework on girders, pillars, doors and windows. Thus come into being the typical scene of "little bridge, flowing river, and household" in areas south of Yangtze River. Among these the old street in the West Grid is one of the best preserved building complexes of the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

(Picture from: scenery.cultural-china.com)

Wuzhen is not only renowned as a water town, but also boasts its numerous cultural celebrities in the history. During the period of Song, Ming and Qing dynasties, Wuzhen boasted almost 200 provincial graduates and metropolitan graduates. Lots of literators and calligraphers came to Wuzhen for study or settled down here. Such celebrities include Xie Lingyun, the inaugurator of China's landscape poetry, Shen Yue, the chief of the literary field in the Qi and Liang Dynasties, and Fan Chengda, one of the four great poets in the Resurgence period of South Song Dynasty. They had left precious cultural legacies for the later generations. There have been furthermore in modern times China's great literary master Mao Dun, caricaturist Feng Zikai, the legendary master of the overseas Chinese culture Sun Muxin, who went out of Wuzhen, and left their eternal footprints in Chinese and world history.

(Picture from: scenery.cultural-china.com)

The culture passed down from a thousand years' of history, the plain but graceful landscape, delicious food of unique taste, various folk festivals, profound humanistic accumulation and unchanged lifestyle are all the elements that have made Wuzhen the living fossil of the ancient Eastern civilization, attracting each year more than two millions of tourists from both home and abroad. Wuzhen has among the first batch of the Four A-level Scenic Areas appraised by the National Tourism Bureau, and has gained the "2003 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Award".

Source: scenery.cultural-china.com

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