Ancient Towns Around Shanghai: NAN XUN

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Nanxun is known in China and abroad as the home of Jili Silk. Its thriving silk trade helped Nanxun earn the accolade “town of affluence.” Its community of wealthy merchants gave rise to beautiful garden residences, such as the Xiaolian Villa, the former residences of Liu Ti and of the Zhangs—all built on a grand scale and delightful to the eye. Particularly unusual is the juxtaposition of Chinese and Western architectural styles of these garden residences: Baroque columns, European fireplaces and French etched glass are blended into traditional Chinese buildings with central halls, skywells, and carved brick gatetowers. The Jiaye Hall Library has more than 10,000 ancient books and records; built along the river, the Hundred-Room Building is the subject of an old legend. The stone steps along the river bank and the roof-top fire gables look like piano keys, rising and falling without cease, playing the eternal music of Jiangnan, the waterland of rivers and lakes.
Table of Contents
Ancient Scenes and Foreign Styles
The Hundred-Room Building
The Legend of Xishi
The Xiaolian Villa
The Jiaye Hall Library
Jili Silk in Universal Demand
"The Number One Mansion of Jiangnan"
East Meets West in the "Red House"
Zhang Jingjiang——Fundraiser for Sun Yat-sen
Historical Work with Catastrophic Consequences
Arts and Gourmet Foods
Places of Interest
Overnight in the Old Town
Choicest Food
How to Get to Nanxun
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Sample pages of Ancient Towns Around Shanghai: NAN XUN (ISBN:9787119061702)
Sample pages of Ancient Towns Around Shanghai: NAN XUN (ISBN:9787119061702)
After crossing the Tongji Bridge, wecome to the Xunxi Stream, a windingriver, lined on both sides by dwellinghouses with covered walkways, arcadehouses, some high, some low, facingeach other across the stream. They havepink walls and gray tiles. Stone bridgeslink the two sides. Following the curvesof the river, the long street winds along,with its covered colonnades and archgates of every shape and size. The firegables between the houses are of different height andthey are so close to each other that they look as if theywere overlapped. At a quick glance, the two-story houseslook uniform in style, but actually their forms are quitedifferent; some looking like clouds, and some with acurved profile projecting beyond the roof; but the ma-jority have high corbel gables. They gaze proudly up intothe azure sky, but their inverted images are reflected inthe clear rippled water along with the stone steps andpiers along the stream. There is great variety: the stonesteps of the piers down to the water are single or double,broad or narrow; the houses along the river are high orlow, and every one is different in terms of its exteriorjoinery.
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Ancient Towns Around Shanghai: NAN XUN