Shanghai's numerous universities offer some of the most enchanting spaces for a leisurely stroll. Walking around these campuses and admiring the architecture is like traveling back through history: imagining the memories of its students and the destinies that have been shaped. Remembering the college years is often a moving experience.
Shanghai Daily begins a series touring seven university campuses in the city to shed some light on the standout buildings. The series begins with Fudan University.
Established in 1905, Fudan University is regarded as one of the most prominent universities in the country. The prestigious institution has two major landmark buildings — Xianghui Hall and Zibin Hall. If walls had ears and buildings could talk, these two landmarks would certainly have inspiring stories to tell.
Built in 1947 and near Handan Road, it is listed as a protected building in Yangpu District along with the school’s Math building and the University History Museum. Ma Xiangbo, the university’s founder, and Li Denghui, the institution’s president from 1917 to 1937, both have very strong connections to the hall.
Xianghui Hall was once used to host most of the school’s major events including commemorative ceremonies, representative meetings, student union events, concerts and even Russian dance performances. Looking at this imposing white building with red windows, one can imagine all of the eminent personalities that have walked through its doors.
As a venue to welcome presidents and talented artists throughout the years, Xianghui Hall embodies the university’s international reputation. Although newer buildings are now used more frequently for big campus events, the hall still has a charming presence.
Next to Xianghui Hall, it is one of the most well-preserved buildings on Fudan campus and is a heritage site in Shanghai. Built in 1925, it was recently renovated and renamed Lui Che-woo Hall, after Lui Che-woo, chairman of K. Wah Group and a member of the school’s board of trustees. Lui has devoted much of his life to sponsoring and strengthening education through his foundation. The building now serves as the school’s administrative office. The building remains elegant to this day and is often considered the most beautiful on campus. Students like to refer to it as the “White House.”
Most of the official pictures of Fudan’s staff have been taken on the grass lawn in front of the building. And numerous former students come to immortalize their wedding day with photos in front of it. A few meters away is Fudan History Museum, which displays old photographs of the hall.
Not far from there is Yan Garden, another campus treat. This charming traditional Chinese garden is a nice place to relax after a long walk around the grounds. With its small wooden bridges and flowing water, it offers students a respite from their studies.