As we know, Miao Nationality loves to live under the foot of mountains while Dong Nationality prefers to inhabit along the river edge. Their different habits result in two total different architecture styles respectively: the stilt house and the Wind-Rain Bridge. Dong people are genius when it comes to build residences, drum towers and bridges out of stones and cedars, which in return have become their unique and distinctive culture symbols.
|Dong Nationality: people of water. They are genius when it comes to build architecture merely out of stone and wood. Wind-Rain Bridge and Drum Towers have become their culture symbols|
Wind-Rain Bridge is also known as Flower Bridge or Blessing Bridge, which is mainly composed of stones and woods. Giant stones are used to build piers, while woods are widely applied to construct the whole body of the bridge, pillars, pavilions, pagodas, floors and railings. One of their most notable traits is that not a single snail or rivet is used during the process. Today, in middle and southwest China, you can see quantities of Wind-Rain Bridges of various sizes and styles.
|Chengyang Wind-Rain Bridge ( Top Ten Most Amazing Bridges in the World)|
Generally speaking, Wind-Rain Bridges fall into two categories: Pavilion Style and Drum Tower Style. The later is usually built above big river, which is more imposing. Among all the Wind-Rain Bridges nationwide, Chengyang Wind-Rain Bridge is the best-preserved, the most renowned and the most distinctive one. It is one of the Top Ten Most Amazing Bridges on the planet. Together with Zhaozhou Bridge (Hebei province), Luding Bridge(Sichuan Province) and Roman Bridge, they are the Top Four historical bridges in the world. While Sanjiang Wind-Rain Bridge is the longest one.
|Chengyang Wind-Rain Bridge(since 1916): Linxi Chengyang Scenic Area is occupied by Dong Nationality. A number of 24 Wind-Rain Bridges and 31 Drum Towers scatter along the villages embedded on green land along the water. This area is famed as the land of festivals. Linxi Firecracker Festival, Dong New Year Festival which occurs on 6th of the first lunar month and Middle Autumns' Day are three key festivals of Dong people.|
Though located in a small town in Liuzhou city which is famous for Miao Nationality’s colorful festivals, Zhuang Nationality’s love songs, Yao Nationality’s dance and Dong Nationality’s architecture, its remoteness does not prevent its admirers.
Built in 1916, Chengyang Wind-Rain Bridge spans over the Linxi River 64.4m long, 3.4m wide and 10.6m high. It has three floors, four spans, five giant piers, five mighty pavilions with pointed eaves, nineteen verandas, delicate railings, comfortable seats, well-decorated interior walls and soaring pillars. Vivid patterns of auspicious animals such as lion, bats, phoenix and unicorn abound here, which can bring good luck and keep the evils away. Except for providing shelter and transportation for passers-by, Chengyang Wind-Rain Bridge has other great missions. In the eye of Dong people, it can dispel the demons as well as bring them harvest, happiness, fortunes and blessings.
Strolling along this bridge, you can feast eye on the poetic pastoral scenery: Linxi River glides towards you gracefully, the giant water wheel chants the merry lullaby, famers busy themselves tilling the fields and verdant tea plantations occupy the undulating hills and extend all the way to the horizon. In the distance, mountains embrace Dong people villages in their arms. Attracted both by scenery and culture, most travelers will spend several days and half a month to observe and experience local life.
|Sanjiang Wind-Rain Bridge(since 2010 ): It spans across the Xunjiang River in Sanjiang Dong Autonomous Prefecture. Measuring 368m long, 16m wide and 18m high, it is the longest wind-rain bridge in the world.|
Legend had it that there lived one pair of newly-wedded couple in a Dong village nearby Chengjiang Wind-Rain Bridge. The wife is beauty and the husband is handsome and talented. One day, they were crossing a bridge after one day’s sweating labor. Hand in hand, they were totally unaware of the hostile and jealousy glare from one crab monster under the bridge, who had coveted the beauty of the woman for a long time. With witchcraft, the crab monster summoned gust and swept the wife away at lightning speed. Overwhelmed by grief, the husband lamented along the river for several days without eating and drinking. His tears dropped into the river like strings of pearls, which glistened like stars and light up the palace of the underground kingdom. Moved by this man’s affection for his wife, one little dragon risked his life to rescue his wife from the fist of the crab monster. Finally, the couple reunited again. To show gratitude to this dragon, they erected a bridge here, which is today’s Yangjiang Wind-Rain Bridge. It is said the dragon still lives in the river. Today, this bridge has become the favorite haunt for lovers.
Location: Guyi Town, Sanjiang County, Liuzhou City, Guangxi province
Other Names: Yongji Bridge or Panlong Bridge.
Opening Hours: 10 hours
What else to see in Sanjiang County
1 Visit local villages (Dong Nationality, Miao Nationality, Zhuang Nationality)
2 Sanjiang Drum Tower
Drum Tower: just like Wind-Rain Bridge, this architecture which symbolizes union and divinity is unique to Dong people also. Drum Towers are usually built with odd numbers, such as 3, 5, 7 and 9. One of their most striking features lies in the summit, which is usually decorated with the exquisite sculptures of cranes and fashioned after various styles. The pillars and eaves of these drum towers are decorated with colorful paintings. Seen from afar, each village will look like one giant spider web radiating from its center: Drum Tower. Around each Drum Tower, you can spot Drama House, Wind-Rain Bridge and Drum Tower Square correspondingly. Together, they function as the social and recreational hubs. Dong people will gather here to discuss important matters, to entertain themselves and to kill time with their soul mates. Events, festivals, gatherings, entertainments will take place. Generally speaking, different families sharing the same family name will build one Drum Tower. Thus, in some big villages, there are four to five drum towers.
|Sanjiang Drum Tower: the tallest one in China|
3 Sanjiang County Bird's Nest (watch the Dong Nationality's Show)
|Sanjiang County Bird's Nest|
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