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Nanxun Old Water Town

Add:Nanxun, Huzhou, Zhejiang



Nanxun (南浔) is a water town nestled in northern Zhejiang province near the border with Jiangsu Province, just a few kilometers from the south shore of Lake Tai, some 120-km from Shanghai. In addition to the typical water town features - canals, bridges, small lanes and old houses - Nanxun has some unique elements that make it well worth a visit. Several of the old homes of the former wealthy residents of Nanxun ar an interesting mixture of Eastern and Western architecture. The Zhang (张石铭旧居) and Liu (刘氏梯号) family compounds both have sections of buildings in the traditional southern Chinese style and in various Western styles.

After strolling through the Zhang family's traditional Chinese garden with winding pathways, fishponds and bizarre rocks, one encounters a French mansion in the New orleans style, complete with red brick decoration, wrought iron balconies, louvered shutters, and century-old magnolias. Inside, there is a complete ballroom with parquet flooring, fireplaces and a bandstand. in the Chinese secton of the home are also etched blue glass windows featuring Chinese motifs.

Nanxun is a well- known traditional garden, the beautiful "Little Lotus Village" (小莲庄) which features an imperially authorized double archway outside the clan hall of the former owners, an idyllic lotus pond from which the garden takes its name, and rows of ancient camphor trees along a sleepy canal. Next door to the garden is the famous Jiaye Library (嘉业堂藏书楼), which used to be one of the biggest private libraries in the region. It still contains an impressive collection of wooden printing blocks housed in a two-story colonial structure built around the courtyard.

There is also a museum show-casing sedan chairs, including the every-day versions and those for special occasions like weddings. There are a number of small restaurants along the canal.

There is parking on the street and a car park next to the ticket booth. The tickets for the town and eight of various exhibits or houses are 45 Yuan each. A boat ride is 50 Yuan for half an hour and one boat can hold up to 8 adults next to the little Lotus village. There is a separate admission charge for the Liu family home at 15 Yuan.