Back To Shanghai Homepage
Call Us From 
Bund Waibaidu Bridge

The first and largest steel bridge in China, the Bund Waibaidu Bridge, alias Garden Bridge because of its closeness to Public Garden at the northern end of the Bund, was constructed in 1907. This unique and well-designed bridge, connecting the Huangpu River and Hongkou Districts, symbolizes Shanghai’s modern image and is labeled as the city’s trademark. Surrounded by architecture of both Chinese and western styles, the bridge has two pedestrian walkways, with Suzhou River flowing slowly below.

The Bund Waibaidu Bridge has been through ups and downs during its 100-year history. In the past, people needed to take cruises to cross the river. Early in 1856, Wales, a British businessman, built a first wooden bridge, called Wales Bridge, across the Suzhou River. At that time, foreigners could walk across the bridge for free, but the local people needed to pay for the bridge. Waibaidu Bridge literally means “Outer Ferry Crossing” or "Foreigners Cross for Free", indicating this strange and historical fact. Soon, this unfair policy received a strong protest from the local residents. In 1871, Wales built another iron bridge for higher profits, but the bridge collapsed because of structural faults. In 1873, a new bridge was constructed by the Municipal Council to replace the old wooden bridge. A new steel bridge was completed in 1907. There was a bridge called Zilaishui (Water Supply) Bridge built by the British Water Supply Company at that time near the Bund Waibaidu Bridge. It had also been known as Erbaidu Bridge with the similar structure and looking as the Waibaidu. Erbaidu was demolished 1942.

During the Anti-Japanese War, Bund Waibaidu Bridge scarred the memory of the local people. At that time, Japanese invaders occupied the area stopping Chinese people from walking on the bridge and humiliating them with nasty words.

During recent years, the Bund Waibaidu Bridge keeps expanding with the rapid economic development of Shanghai. The bridge is still a popular tourist sight and it can be seen in many films and documentaries. In March 2008, when the Bund Waibaidu Bridge was removed for renovation work, numerous citizens went here for photo-taking. The bridge will be restored to its original site in 2010.