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The Bund

the bund of shanghai the bund of shanghai

The Bund(Wàitān, 外滩)with a length of 1.5 kilometers is located in the Huangpu District which is downtown Shanghai. On the east of this area, you won't miss the mother river of Shanghai----Huangpu River; and on the west of it, you will see the 1930s resplendence of Shanghai proved by a row of buildings of variegated western architectures titled as'the museum of international architecture', in detail, 52 buildings in different styles: gothic, romanesaue, baroque, Chinese and Western combined. Therefore, the Bund is an influential attraction, a landmark and one of most famous destinations worth traveling in Shanghai.

Culture of Name

In Shanghai, the upstream is called Li and the downstream called Wai. When the Huangpu River formed a sharp turn at Lujiabang, it was divided into Li Huangpu and Wai Huangpu. Therefore the beach (tan in Chinese) of Wai Huangpu which across Suzhou Creek from Waibadu Bridge to the East Jinling Road was called Waitan in Chinese and the Bund in English. Being the original outline of Shanghai, it was named Huangpu Road, Yangzi Road and Huangputan Road before, but changed into East-1 Zhongshan Road in 1945 for memorizing the Sun Yat-sen---- one of the greatest leaders of modern China. Nevertheless, it is still known well by former name Waitan until nowadays.

History of the Bund:



the bund of Shanghai
The Old image of the  Bund of Shanghai  in 1930's  
In 1840, Shanghai became one of the five treaty ports opened to the outside world. Then, it became a British settlement from1845 and France settlement from 1849 until early 1940’s. During this period, foreign firms standing in great numbers, brisk trade day and night, and foreign embassies gathering here, this area became the most prosperous land in Shanghai and earned a title of “Oriental Wall Street”. Thus, everyone would be proud of owning a piece of land there to show his social status. Gradually, the Bund became a 'treasure house of Shanghai.' Quite a few architects hired brought their talents into full play for constructing delicate buildings. Times change!Those accomplishments still stand along the Huangpu River with almost the original look, being a beautiful landscape of the Bund.

After the victory of communist in the Chinese civil war, lots of foreign financial institutions moved out of this area and other places for entertainment also closed or converted to other uses. From 1990’s, in order to boost the tourism of Shanghai, the local government decided to promote the Bund after some stages of restoration. Before the Expo, 2010, with the purpose of enlarging the space or view for tourists, the project of building underground tunnel was carried out.

The Bund Travel Highlights:

As one of the hottest attractions in Shanghai, the Bund always gives out momentum of grace and luxury no matter being gazed from far distance or nearby area. Many tourists from home and abroad swarm into Shanghai but they never miss the Bund. Even you are not an expert in architecture you might still have interest in those distinguished historic architecture of "The Bund - Shanghai".
The Bund No.1—No.12              The Bund No.13--No. 22              The Bund No. 23--No.33

Besides wandering in front of those peculiar buildings of variegated western architectures, you are also recommended to:

Sightseeing tanker on the Huangpu River
Sightseeing Tunnel
Chenyi Square

Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street
Waitan Park (the first European park in China)
Waibaidu Bridge (Garden Bridge of Shanghai with steel construction)
Yuyuan Garden

Traveling tips:

Opening time: 24hours
Ticket price: free
By Bus:
Take bus 55 or 307 and get off at East Nanjing Road Station;
Take bus 37, 576, or 928 and get off at East Nanjing Road (The Bund Station);
Take bus 33, 37, 65, 305, 910, 912 and get off at East Zhongshan 1st Road(East Nanjing Road Station);
Take Bus 65, 123, 135, 576, 910, 928 and get off at Zhongshan 1st Road (Hankou Road).
Tourism Bus:
Line 8 from Shanghai Stadium (Gate 4) to East Nanjing Road (The Bund);
Take City Sightseeing Bus and get off at the Bund.
By Metro:
Take Line 2 or Line 10 and get off at East Nanjing Road Station. Then walk about 10 minutes toward the Huangpu River.
No.1.the Bund
 ►Name: No. 1, the Bund/ Asia Building  亚细亚大楼Yàxìyà Dàlóu
 ►Location: No.1 East-1 Zhongshan Road    
 ►Build-time: 1916   ►Designer: Moorhead&Halse
Asia Building (originally the McBain Building) has a good reputation of the first mansion in the Bund. At the very beginning, it had 6 floors, but added one and another in 1939. So now it is eight- storey mansion. Before 1966, the ground floor was rent to the Shanghai offices of Royal Dutch Shell and Asiatic Petroleum Company.It is headquarters of China Pacific Insurance Company Ltd from 1996. However, according to the owner of this building, it is under the renovation and will be reopen in 2012.
As you can see in the picture, from the exterior of the building, you will find the trace of eclecticism style. The facade with four ionic pillars is a masterpiece of baroque style. The east and south elevation are divided into three horizontal parts and vertical parts with baroque and neoclassicism. The whole building is gorgeous and elegant. 

No.2, the BundName: No. 2, the Bund/ Shanghai Club
Location: No.3 East-1 Zhongshan Road
Build-time: 1910    ►Designer: H. Tarrant
Shanghai club was originally found in 1860 and built a three-storey red-brick building in 1864 which was replaced by a new six-storey building in 1910, which is the first concrete building in Shanghai at that time. It was the principal social club for British nationals in Shanghai during 1920’s and 1930’s. When the pacific war broke out, it was closed. In 1971, Dongfeng hotel rent this building and the first KFC in Shanghai also opened here, too.
Unfortunately, it was closed since 1998.However, in 2008, with the help of old photos and documents, the owner invested RMB 1.2billion to make this old building in a new spirit of youthful enthusiasm. In 2010, luckily enough for the Bund, the first Asian Waldorf belonging to Hilton group opened here to welcome all the tourists from the earth. And the golden time of the club recurs.
Once you enter into the 10-meter high lobby, you will pass the time tunnel to get to the palace of Queen Elizabeth I; Sunshine pours to the ground through the glass of the vault; on the left of the lobby, originally KFC place, now is a 34 meters bar counter made of rosewood which would easily remind you of the fact that it had attracted many people to chat and drink here in the old time. After renovation, the elevator made by Siemens 90 years ago starts work again.
So do you want to be one of his guests?

No,3, the BundName:No.3,the Bund/ the Union Building
Location: No.3 (formerly No. 4) East-1 Zhongshan Road
Build-time: 1916    ►Designer: Palmer & Turner Group
This great six-storey building boasts as the first steel structure in Shanghai. It has a symmetrical facade; the whole style is in neo-renaissance but if careful enough you will find some Baroque style details. There is a domed corner pavilion in the roof. Only with a narrow frontage onto the Bund, so, it has the main door near Guangdong Road.
At the very beginning, a number of insurance companies have rent here as their work places. In 1937, Japanese Army intruded Shanghai. Those companies could hardly keep their assets from war damages. Then the Union Bank purchased this building. After the victory of communist in the civil war, the Union Bank left China. Until a private equity fund from Singapore purchased the building in 1997, it was an office building for Shanghai Civil Architecture and Design Institute.However, in 2004, under a proposal of Li Jinghan, a Chinese-American, the owner together with Li founded House of Three to invest $35million in the renovation of this building and Michael Graves shouldered the responsibility of interior design. 
After renovated elaborately, this old building is full of fashion and reminds people of Xintiandi Plaza. It is a successful conversion to be a "high-class" shopping centre. Now, No.3, the Bund is not only a doorplate number, but also generic terms of investment and luxurious life.
Here, you can buy Armani suits and have a spa at Evian Spa, appreciate the paintings in Hushen Gallery or enjoy music in salons, then have dinner in Jean Georges,WhampoaRoom, Nobuor or Laris. Besides enjoying the yummy food here, you also have the best view of the landscape of the Bund.

►Name: No.5, theBund /The Nissin Building
►Location: No.5 East-1 Zhongshan Road
►Build-time: 1925
►Designer: Lester,Johnson&Morriss
This six-storey building housed a Japanese shipping firm named Nissin Navigation Company originally. Due to the lack of capital, Nissin Navigation Company shared this construction task with a Jew businessman. Nissin was in charge of the three stories bottom which was similar to the occidental architectures in Japan in modern times while the Jew businessman took the responsibilities to the upper three ones which turned out a style in classicism with classical columns and floriation. Cornices and relieves between the fifth and sixth floor given out a sense ofconcave-convex.
It was used byHuaxia Bank until 2006, and then it was changed into a high-ranking canteen. At the top of this building, there is a big terrace which you can enjoy delicious food as well as the beautiful
panorama of the Bund.


►Name: No.6, the Bund / China Merchants Bank Building
►Location: No.6 East-1 Zhongshan Road
►Build-time: 1897   ►Designer: Morrison &F. M. Gratton
China Merchants Bank was regarded as the first bank which opened by Chinese people themselves. This building used to be called Yuanfang Building because of having Yuanfang Lane nearby. With gothic and religion style, this building was rebuilt in 1906 and had three and half storeys. There are five pinnacles in the attic floor where small steeples with crosses can also be found. Originally, it was built by black and red bricks but painted wash white during the renovation. After the successful conversion of No.3 and No.18, No.6 becomes the third place for rich people going in the Bund in 2006.


►Name:No.7, the Bund /The Great Northern Telegraph Corporation Building
►Location: No.7 East-1 Zhongshan Road
►Build-time: 1908
►Designer: Atkinson&Dallas Architects and Civil Engineers Ltd
This building in renaissance style was a property belonging to Russell & Co. (an American bank in 19th century) but purchased by China Shipping Merchant Company later and used as office building for the Great Northern Telegraph Corporation attached. After the war of resistance against aggression of Japan, China Merchants Bank became the owner of it; and now it is used by the branch of Thailand Bangkok Bank.
Observing the whole building carefully, you will find the concentration of the designer: integration, symmetry and decoration. Changeful columns are used in every floor. At the top, black domed roof in rococo style tighter with the white walls brings us a visual impact.

►Name: No.9, the Bund / The China Merchants Company Building
►Location: No.9 East-1 Zhongshan Road
►Build-time: 1916
►Designer: Atkinson&Dallas Architects and Civil Engineers Ltd
 Russell & Co., an American corporation, headquartered here in 1846. In 1877, due to the bankruptcy, this place together with No.7 was purchased by China Merchant Company which was run by the Qing Dynasty's Ministry of Trade. And in 1901, it was torn down and a new three-storey red-brick building in neo-classicalism style stood up. After the civil war, it was used as an office building to China Merchants and Steamship Company, but now, it is Shiatzy Chen flagship store.
Different from other architectures at the Bund, it is the only building which constructed by Chinese people themselves during that time.
►Name: No.12, the Bund / the HSBC Building
►Location: No.10-12, East-1 Zhongshan Road
►Build-time: May,1921---June, 1923
►Designer: Palmer & Turner Group,P&T
Boasted the most luxurious building between the Suez Canal and the Bering Strait, this building in neo-classicism style is the second largest bank building in the world at that time, just after the Bank of Scotland building in the United Kingdom. Geomancers was invited to choose a luck day for laying a foundation and gold coins from many countries were buried there at the breaking ground time. Because of the good geographical position, European thought it was a treasure bowl at the end of Huangpu River curve water front; and the directors of HSBC believed that the flowing water would bring wealth here. In 1955, Shanghai government moved into this building but now it is used by Shanghai Pudong Development Bank.
The most famous things in this building are: bronze lion statues, Roman Column and ceiling mosaics. Once this building was completed, the model of the lion statue was destroyed and left two pair of bronze lion statues, one pair was set at the main gate of this building and the other pair was sent to Hang Kong. For more than 10 years, they were there watching people coming and going. In 1940’s, in order to make more weapons, Japan army took them but left in the storage. After the victory of Chinese people, the statues came back; but one of them was destroyed badly. Thanks to the twin statues in Hong Kong, it was repaired. After that, they were sent to the Shanghai history museum. Now, you can just see the copy ones at the main gate of this building. Those four Roman Columns made of a whole marble were finished in Italy and shipped to here. Ceiling mosaics have been fully restored, and can be viewed inside the entrance hall.
►Name: No.13, the Bund / Shanghai Customs House
►Location: No.13, East-1 Zhongshan Road
►Build-time: December 15,1925----December 19, 1927
►Designer: Palmer & Turner Group,P&T
This building in styles of classicism and renaissance is the tallest building in Shanghai in 1920’s. It is named Jianghai Custom House formerly. With its sister building No.12, they are always attractive no matter during days and nights and considered as one of the symbols of the Bund.
The whole building includes two parts. The main building in the east is 10-storey high and faces the Huangpu River, with a 140-feet high bell tower on the top. The annex in the west has 5 storey and faces onto Sichuan Road.
The eastern building is entirely surfaced in granite, which are mined from a mountain in Suzhou. Four Doric columns at the gateway of the main building will remind you of Greece. The ceiling of the hall in the ground floor is a picture of battleship composed by colorful mosaic. That custom Bell was designed by John Taylor & Co and JB Joyce & Co and shipped to Shanghai in August, 1927.At New Year’s Day of 1928, it rang carillon de Westminster but now the bell tone changed into Dongfang Hong(East is red).

►Name: No.14, the Bund / China Bank of Communications Building
►Location: No.14, East-1 Zhongshan Road
►Build-time: 1948
►Designer: C. H. Gonda from Hungary
After the First World War, according to the rules, Republic of China confiscated this piece of land which was a possession of Germany. As a result, the Shanghai branch of China Bank of Communications took the building as their office building. In 1928, the head office also moved here. After 1945, the bank decided to rebuild a six-storey building in Art Deco style. Meanwhile, this is also the latest construction along the Bund. In 1951, the head office of the bank moved to Beijing so that we got Shanghai Council of Trade Unions here until now.


►Name: No.15, the Bund / Russo-Chinese Bank Building
►Location: No.15, East-1 Zhongshan Road
►Build-time: 1901----1905
►Designer: Becker&Baedeker
Formerly, it was the Russo-Chinese Bank Building. In 1928, it housed Central Bank and later Shanghai space agency moved in but now Shanghai Foreign Exchange.
This building is a brick and concrete composite structure with refined decoration in neo-classicism style. The main entrance is the axis of the whole building and four rolls of window on both sides of the gate bring more sunshine here. The foreshadowing of grounds includes imported colored ceramic tile. The central hall of the ground floor is three storeys high and is covered with a patterned glass ceiling which makes the interior decoration more beautiful. Moreover it is the earliest building equipped with sanitary facilities in Shanghai.

►Name: No.16, the Bund /Bank of Taiwan Building
►Location: No.16, East-1 Zhongshan Road
►Build-time: 1924----1927
►Designer: Lester,Johnson&Morriss
Bank of Taiwan was opened by Japanese merchants in Taiwan, and they had the first branch in Shanghai in 1911. In early time, it was a three-storey building but it was torn town in 1924.

The new four- storey building is very typical and similar to the occidental architectures in Japan in modern times.

►Name: No.17, the Bund /North China Daily News Building
►Location: No.17, East-1 Zhongshan Road
►Build-time: 1921----1924
►Designer: Lester,Johnson&Morriss
This building was constructed by North China Daily News, an English-language newspaper based in Shanghai. Besides having the offices of the newspaper, it was also rent to other companies.The main renter is American International Assurance.
►Name: No.18, the Bund / Chartered Bank Building
►Location: No.18, East-1 Zhongshan Road
►Build-time: 1922
►Designer: Palmer & Turner Group,P&T
This building is famous for housing the Shanghai headquarters of what became Standard Chartered Bank.Now, like No.3 and No.6, this place houses designer shops and a creative exhibition space. Walking into the hall, two three-high red glass droplights made of hollow glass tubes are hanging there to welcome guests; the mosaic fresco made of 24k gold brick is totally handmade which brings luxury atmosphere here.
►Name: No.19, the Bund / South Building of the Peace Hotel
►Location: No.19, East-1 Zhongshan Road
►Build-time: 1906
►Designer: Wailer Scott
Formerly, this six-storey building was Central Hotel and now it is the south building of Peace Hotel.
With time flying, this building becomes a witness for many history events: In 1909, the first meeting of the World Anti-Narcotics League was held here. In 1911, after the success of the Xinhai Revolution, Sun Yat-sen stayed at the hotel and advocated commitment to the revolutionary cause. In 1927, Chiang Kai Shek and Song Meilin held their wedding here.In June 30,1998, the major couple also choose this place to treat Clinton and Hilarie.
►Name: No.20, the Bund / Sassoon House
►Location: No.20, East-1 Zhongshan Road
►Build-time: 1926----1929
►Designer: Palmer & Turner Group
Sassoon House is a ten-storey high building now it is the north building of the Peace Hotel. This building is a typical Art Deco style and famous for the invisible green roof shaped in pyramid. Previously, the most luxury Cathay Hotel rent the west hall of the ground floor and four to nine floors, having rooms in nine different countries style.
►Name: No.23, the Bund / Bank of China Building
►Location: No.23, East-1 Zhongshan Road
►Designer: Wailer Scott
The bank of China building consists of two parts. The main one is a 15 floors tower facing Huangpu River. The ground floor has a ceiling higher than normal buildings and has two floors underground, making a total of 17 floors. The other one is four-storey high.

Previously, it is a site of German club. But after the World War, China government confiscated it and later Bank of China purchased this land from the government. 
The exterior of the building is totally in a traditional Chinese style, covered with smooth Janshan stone. If you carefully enough, you will spot the pattern of Chinese character for longevity on both sides of each floor.
►Name: No.24, the Bund /Yokohama Specie Bank Building
►Location: No.24, East-1 Zhongshan Road
►Build-time: 1924
►Designer: Palmer & Turner Group 
In 1893, Yokohama Specie Bank,ltd came to China to enlarge business area. At the very beginning, they just rent a house in the Nanjing Road, with the flourishing development, they bought the land to build bank building in 1924.
This building has six  storeys and styled in classicism.Now, it houses China Merchants Bank.
►Name: No.26, the Bund / Yangtsze Insurance Association Building
►Location: No.26, East-1 Zhongshan Road
►Build-time: 1920
►Designer:Palmer and Turner Group
Previoualy, this is  the Yangtze Insurance Association Building but now  used by the Agricultural Bank of China.
The seven-storeys building is designed in an eclectic style. The exterior wall between the first and second storeys is clad with granites. From the third floor to the fifth floor, the exterior wall is very smooth.You will find double Ionic columns in the midle part of  the sixth floor.
►Name: No.27, the Bund / Jardine Matheson Building
►Location: No.27, East-1 Zhongshan Road
►Build-time: 1920----1922
►Designer: R S Stewardson&H M Spence
This Renaissance-style building was built by the famous Jardine Matheson which had a wide range of business interests in China.After the victory of the communist this building housed Foreign Trade Bureau. In order to change the function of the bund from the whole layout,this buiding was under a renovation in 2008.
►Name: No.29, the Bund / Banque de l'Indochine
►Location: No.29, East-1 Zhongshan Road
►Build-time: 1911----1914
►Designer: Atkinson&Dallas Architects and Civil Engineers Ltd

This building was built by a France company so it is s a typical French classic construction. The elevation is divided into three parts horizontally and vertically.The arched gate is in Baroque style and has Ionic columns. Now, the building is Shanghai branch of the Everbright Bank of China.
►Name: No.33, the Bund /  Consulate-General of the United Kingdom
►Location: No.33, East-1 Zhongshan Road
►Build-time: 1872----1873
►Designer: Grossman & Boyce

This is one of the oldest and largest buildings on the Bund. Originally, it was built in 1849 but destroyed in a fire in 1870.It was  rebuilt in the Renaissance Revival style and use chinese tiles  on the top .Now, it is used by Peninsula Hotel.
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