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Zhujiajiao

The scenic Zhujiajiao of Shanghai is an ancient water town located in the joint place of transportation system among Jiangsu Province, Zhejiang Province and Shanghai City. It has the superior geographic location due to it is neighboring Dianshanhu Lake Scenic Area. It is also near to the Hongqiao International Airport in the east, Kunshan in the north, Jiaxing in the south and Pingwang in the west. The rivers and lanes are crossing one another. Nine long streets extend along the rivers, and thousands of ancient traditional buildings are erecting along the waters. 36 old bridges remain the charms of the history and humanity. The places of interest are here and there.

History and Economy

Zhujiajiao had become a land about 7,000 years ago. Relics and commodities from the epochs of Neolithic and Warring States at the bottom of the Dianshanhu Lake have been found by archeologists in recent decades. These relics indicate Zhujiajiao has a long history. Since the Song Dynasty, the ancient town has been christened the name we are used presently. Zhujiajiao was once under the administration of Shanghai County in the Yuan Dynasty, and for several times in its history the town had been governed under Kunshan County.

In 1949, after the liberation of Shanghai by the CCP, they set up Zhujiajiao City, with a small town and four villages. In 1991 the original layout of administrative areas had been cancelled and Zhuajiajiao became a township in Shanghai. It has an area of 47 sq. km and a population of 38,000. It looks like a folding fan inlayed in the beautiful mountains and waters. Mass of people takes it as the Venice in Shanghai. Zhujiajiao is enlisted one of the four cultural ancient towns in Shanghai by the Municipal Government.

As early as the Song Dynasty Zhujiajiao had been a bazaar place which commerce were flourished because the water transportation was so easy at that time. It was one of the most prosperous towns in Shanghai area during the heydays of the Ming Dynasty about 500 years ago. The handicraft industry had been very famous too, during the mid-Ming Dynasty, the production of cotton cloth and spinning fabrics were the main businesses engaged by local families. Rice wholesale business had been hectic during the 1920s and 30s, the town would be so crowded when the rice harvest season came. In addition to the traditional industries, today's Zhujiajiao has been town for modern enterprises and light-industrial factories : food production, printing, textiles and furniture etc.

Prosperous in economy and rich in culture have made the religious activities popular in Zhujiajiao Town. The earliest built temple is Puguang Temple (in the year 1127). The Buddhism had been popular in town until 1950s. Taoism, Christian and Islam have built their religious establishments in Zhujiajiao. The Catholic Ascension Church was built in 1860. It became the affiliated church of the Shanghai Parish in 1945. Nowadays there are about 2,000 Roman Catholic believers in the town.

Custom

The life of Zhujiajiao's people has always been colorful. They like Peking Opera, music and writing. With the average age of 70, the local Peking Opera Troupe was founded 30 years ago. In addition to traditional opera, they also performed some modern Chinese masterworks. By tour of the town's park, you can hear the semi-professional classical singers practicing, some of them have become in China's music scene. Chunhui Letter Society of Zhujiajiao High School was found 13 years ago. It has already published 566 articles in some local high school magazines. The society aptly incarnates the tradition in passion of literature at Zhujiajiao. Some calligraphy works by old and young people have been awarded by the state's competitions. Doing exercises and drinking tea are popular pastimes among the local people too.

The natural beauty and the original architecture of Ming and Qing Dynasties have attracted many film directors here. They choose it as the scene and surroundings for their movies or TV programs. Even sometimes several films are simultaneously made here. Some people call it as the Hollywood of Shanghai.