Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism

Do You Know How Old These Landmarks in Hangzhou Are?

Hangzhou has a history of more than 2,200 years since being established as a county in the Qin Dynasty. It was once the capital of the kingdom of Wu and Yue and the Southern Song Dynasty. As time goes by, the city has got a lot of historical and cultural heritage. The city not only retains a great historical and cultural atmosphere, but also has developed into a city of internet innovation and vitality. Time is changing. Let’s take a look at the landmarks that are booming along with the city and check how old they are!


Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center
4 years old

Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center is located on the south bank of Qiantang River, to the east of the Third Qianjiang Bridge, in the bordering area of the Binjiang New City in Binjiang District and the Qianjiang Century City in Xiaoshan District. The center includes a main stadium for 80,000 people, a main gymnasium for 18,000 people, a swimming pool, a tennis center, a baseball and softball center, a hockey pitch, a small ball center, an indoor track and field center and a heavy athletics center. It can be venues for world, intercontinental and national comprehensive sports games as well as international track and field and football matches. It has 80,800 fixed seats for spectators. It is one of the largest sports centers in the country.


Hangzhou Grand Theater
16 years old

The Hangzhou Grand Theater has become the most modern and iconic cultural facility in China with its unique architectural style, complete functions for performances, and advanced stage technology. Its architecture is very unique and poetic. The silver metal roof is paved with imported titanium plates, symbolizing a pearl. The large double-curved glass curtain wall symbolizes a bright moon. The 6000-square-meter water area on the square in front of the Grand Theatre symbolizes the West Lake of Hangzhou.


In March 2006, Hangzhou Grand Theater was enlisted as one of the Top Ten National Architectural Technology Achievements 2005. In the China Performing Arts Expo 2019, Hangzhou Grand Theater won the honorary titles of “China's Top 15 Dynamic Theater Complexes 2018” and “China's Top 10 Large Performance Venues in Non-first Tier Cities”.


Wulin Square
51 years old

Wulin Square is located to the north of the West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. It is in front of the Provincial Exhibition Hall. As it is within the area of Wulinmen, hence the name. There are many new high-rise skyscrapers around Wulin Square, including the Telecom Tower, Hangzhou Plaza, Hangzhou Theater, Hangzhou International Plaza, Hangzhou Department Store, etc. It is Hangzhou’s busiest garden-style central square. There is a fountain on the square, which was built in 1985. The fountain’s diameter is 36 meters long and it resembles a five-petal plum blossom. The core of the flower is a statue of three young girls dancing with red silk.


Qiantang River Bridge
86 years old

The Qiantang River Bridge, also known as the Qianjiang 1st Bridge, is a double-layer truss girder bridge across the Qiantang River in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China. Situated to the south of West Lake, on the Qiantang River near Six Harmony Pagoda and designed by Chinese bridge expert Mao Yisheng, it is the first double-deck railway and highway bridge designed and built by Chinese.

It was listed among the sixth batch of "National Key Cultural Relic Protected Units" in China on May 25, 2006.


Hu Xueyan's Former Residence
146 years old

The Former Residence of Hu Xueyan stands on Yuanbao Street in the east of the Dajingxiang Historical and Cultural Protection Area in Hangzhou. It was built in the 11th year of Tongzhi reign (1872), at the peak of Hu Xueyan's career. Construction lasted for 3 years and finished in 1875. It is a magnificent mansion full of traditional Chinese architectural features and meanwhile it has adopted some western architectural elements as well. The whole mansion covers an area of 10.8m and its building area is 5,815 square meters. The former residence can be regarded as the No. 1 mansion of China's giant merchants in the late Qing Dynasty, with the architecture, the interior furnishings and the exquisite materials used taken into consideration.


Wenlan Chamber
237 years old

Wenlan Chamber is located at the foot of Solitary Hill, in the north of West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang. It is inside the Zhejiang Provincial Museum. It was firstly built in the 47th year of Qianlong reign in the Qing Dynasty (1782), as one of the seven libraries to keep the collection of Siku Quanshu in the Qing Dynasty. Siku Quanshu is also known as the Complete Library in Four Branches of Literature. Wenlan Chamber is also the only surviving one among the three libraries in Jiangnan.


Gongchen Bridge
389 years old

Gongchen Bridge is the tallest and longest stone arch bridge in Hangzhou and it is simple and elegant. It spans across the Grand Canal and is its terminal point in Hangzhou. "Gong" means to cup one hand in the other before the chest to receive someone, and "chen" refers to the emperor. In ancient times, it was the place to receive the emperor.


In modern times, industry of manufacturing and entertainment developed very well on both sides of the bridge, making it an important economic center of Hangzhou at that time. Therefore with geographical and economic advantages, it was a place of strategic military importance in Hangzhou in history.


Upper Eight Wells
More than 740 years old

Built in the Song Dynasty, the Upper Eight Wells consist of four large and four small wells. People can get water from the large wells, using buckets. And the small ones are used only for decoration. According to the local elders, in the past, when the weather was fine, the water in the wells was very clear. When it was going to rain, the water would turn black one day earlier. So the nearby residents often used these wells to predict the weather.


Qing Hefang Street
850 years old

Qing Hefang Street has been a prosperous area in Hangzhou since ancient times. To the east of Xingong Bridge on Hefang Street, it is the site of Deshougong Palace, Emperor Gaozong's bedroom in the Southern Song Dynasty. Qing Hefang Street is the most famous district in Hangzhou's history, and it is also the only old district in Hangzhou that is relatively well-preserved. It is a microcosm of Hangzhou's long history.


Two Stone Pagodas and Two Sutra Pillars in Lingyin Temple
985 years old

There are two stone pagodas and two sutra pillars inside Lingyin Temple in Xihu District. The two stone pagodas were built in the Five Dynasties or the early Northern Song Dynasty when Qian Hongchu rebuilt the Lingyin Temple. At that time, there were four pagodas. Today, there are only two pagodas standing in front of the main hall. The two nine-storeyed pagodas are 42 meters away from each other and are eight-sided, assembling a wooden pavilion-style pagoda.


Xiling Bridge
More than 1050 years old


Xiling Bridge is an ancient stone arch bridge. It is regarded as one of the three lover bridges of the West Lake. The other two are the Long Bridge and the Broken Bridge. Located in-between Xixia Ridge and Solitary Hill, it is also known as Xilin Bridge. In ancient times, it was originally a picturesque ferry terminal. In ancient poems, the place described in the verses "Call for a ferry at the terminal in Xicun" and "The ship is heading to the best part of Xiling" refers to this place.


Baochu Pagoda
More than 1060 years old

Baochu Pagoda stands on the top of the Precious Stone Hill on the northern edge of the West Lake in Hangzhou. On sunny days, the top of the pagoda is surrounded by clouds. The sky is clear and blue. The pagoda looks so exquisite that it is very worth visiting. It is the symbol of the West Lake. The current pagoda was repaired in 1933 with funds raised. It is 45.3 meters high. Although it has a small base, it is solid enough to support this seven-story pagoda. The carved lines and the overlapping eaves are very beautiful. The pagoda is like a girl gracefully standing there, creating a beautiful sight with the backdrop of the lake and the mountains.


From the past to the present, time goes by quickly. They are still there. One by one, the landmarks of Hangzhou showcase the dazzling development of Hangzhou. It is just like the emotional bond that goes across time and space and deeply roots the love for this city in the blood of Hangzhou people. And Hangzhou will surely become better and better.