Tianjin - Heavenly Ford transformed into City of Lights

By Bruce Connolly | chinadaily.com.cn | 2017-09-02 16:46

Tianjin - Heavenly Ford transformed into City of Lights

Jiefang Bridge, 2017. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]

Tianjin is a city of bridges. The 90 year old Jiefang Bridge has become something of an iconic symbol for the city. The 96.7 metre long double-leaf bascule drawbridge crosses the river south of Century Clock Square and Tianjin Railway Station. It initially connected the French concession with the Italian area north of the river. Concession territories were ceded by the Qing Dynasty ultimately to nine foreign countries starting from 1860. Similar to Shanghai, but on a smaller scale, this resulted in many western-style buildings including homes and schools going up in several areas close to the river. The concessions ulti-mately faded away between the early and middle 20th century. However, rather than remove the buildings many have been retained, carefully maintained and today are an important element of the city's fabric. One kilometer west of the railway station, created out of the former Italian Concession, the 'Italian Style Town' centers on the Marco Polo Square. Buildings are home to many restaurants offering pizzas, bars, shops and museums - an area to enjoy warm summer nights.

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