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Wuxi History & Culture


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In Jiangnan region, several cities shape the highlights of Jiangnan tour or East China tour, one of them is Wuxi. Wuxi is located in south Jiangsu province, bordering on Suzhou and Changzhou, both of which are the economic engines of Jiangsu province, even China. It boasts the Pearl of Tai Lake and the second largest city of Jiangsu province, and its GDP is the second place of Jiangsu province next to Suzhou. Wuxi traditionally is known as Little-size Shanghai, thanks to its developed industry. Wuxi is an adorable city nationwide as a residential site and has the quintessence of Tai Lake Scenic Area. Wuxi has a superior status both in economy and tourism. It is one of top-15 business-centered cities of China, thanks to its glorious history of industrial development, as well as one of top ten tourist destinations of China, thanks to its long-standing history and enchanting culture. What wrote above is a macro-introduction of Wuxi.

Wuxi is not a big city but a small one like any other city nearby, and the smallness is the common characteristics of Jiangnan cities. But the interior structure is quite delicate and elaborately-designed. Downtown Wuxi is divided by Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, and then both sides of the canal are the highlights of historic side of Wuxi, the old residences, ancient streets and themed museums are available over there. The suburb of Wuxi is the most impressive and unique area to see a real and traditional lifestyle of Wuxi residents. The suburb of Wuxi is also the highlights of Wuxi tourist attraction. The Tai Lake Scenic Area is on the southwest side of downtown area, a huge number of historic and cultural sites are densely located over there. That is why people comment Wuxi as a Pearl of Taihu Lake. Wuxi is superficially modernized; the charm of it actually is its tradition. Let us explore Wuxi in details:

The Ancient History of Wuxi

As for the origin of Wuxi, two viewpoints are quite influential. The first one is that Wuxi was a stannum-production center before Han Dynasty, but since Han Dynasty, the stannum was exhausted, so this place was named Wuxi(Without Stannum). The second standpoint is that the name was originated from the local dialect. Due to the extinguishment of the ancient dialect, currently no one can explain the origin of this name.

As an ancient city, Wuxi has more than 3500 years of history. There are many historic sites in memory of Tai Bo(泰伯) such as Taibo Memorial(泰伯祠, was ruined after 1949), Taibo Hall of Xishan Hill, Taibo Temple of Meicun Village and Taibo Tomb of Hong Hill. Taibo was the forefather of Jiangnan region and the forerunner of Wuxi city. The highlighted board of Taibo Hall is carved with four huge characters:” 至德无上”(Supremacy of Great Morality). Taibo was the old uncle of Wenwang of Zhou and highly respected by Confucius. In Qin Dynasty, Wuxi was under the administration of Kuaiji prefecture centering on Shaoxing. In West Han Dynasty, Wuxi was set as a county. During the dynasties of Tang and Song, Wuxi had a tremendous development in both agriculture and economy, and it was a famous agricultural center of China, thanks to its special geographic and climatic advantages. In Ming and Qing Dynasties, the status of Wuxi was further improved. As the development of regional economy, Wuxi also had a superior status in the respects of culture and education. During this periods, the talented intellectuals did a great devotion to the throughout development of Ming and Qing Empires. In modern China before 1949, Wuxi boasts its economy and honored to be Small-Size Shanghai. it used to be the center of native industry.

Wuxi Tourist Attractions

At present, Wuxi administrates seven districts, seven towns and 41 streets (including communities). The major areas of Wuxi include: Chongan District, Nanchang District, Beitang District, Binhu District, Wuxi New District, Huishan District, Xishan District, plus two county-level cities: Jiangyin City and Yixing City. The most attractive and quintessential scenic spots are the classic gardens represented by Xihui Garden and Jichang Garden. As one of the earliest developed areas, Wuxi has the most famous historic and cultural site, Taibo Mausoleum, which was considered as the forefather of South East China. By the way, the tea of Wuxi planted in the surrounding area of Taihu Lake is also quite famous. The most famous local souvenir featuring culture and tradition is dark-red enameled pottery. It is the most famous tea-making ceramic ware of China and an important part of Chinese tea culture. The famous university of Wuxi is Jiangnan University, which originally called Wuxi Light-Industry University. Jiangnan University is located on the side of Tai Lake and close to the Scenic Area of Taihu Lake.

The highlights of Wuxi tourist attractions include: Jichang Classic Garden of Ming Dynasty, Former Residential Cluster of Xu Fucheng of Qing Dynasty, Hongshan Tomb Complex of Zhou Period, Taibo Temple and Tomb of Ming and Qing Dynasties, Huishan Ancient Town Memorial Complex, Donglin Academy, Zhaosi Hall, Courtyard and Stone Inscriptions of No.2 Spring, Former Residence of A Bing, Buildings of Rong Family in Meiyuan Garden Scenic Area, Guoshan Stele of Three-Kingdom Period, Yixing Ceramic Kiln Site, Former Residence of Xu Xiake and Stone Inscription of Qingshan Hall, Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal and Luotuodun Pre-historic Site. These are all the national-key tourist attractions of Wuxi. Wuxi Taihu Lake National-Level Travel and Leisure Resort is the national resort of China. Three-Kingdom Town, Shuihu Town and Tang Town (called China Film-TV Making Scenic Area together) belong to the National Five-A Scenic Area, so does Wuxi Lingshan Scenic Area. The National Four-A scenic areas consist of Taihu Lake Yuantouzhu Scenic Area, China Wu Culture Expo Park, Hengshan Meiyuan Garden Scenic Area, Wuxi Chongan Temple Scenic Area, Yixing Shanjuan Cave Scenic Area, Wuxi Xihui Garden and Cultural Sites Area, Liyuan Garden Scenic Area, Wuxi Museum, Former Residence of Xu Fucheng, Donglin Academy, Yixing Zhuhai Scenic Area, Yixing Longbei Hill Forest Park and many other typical sites.

Surely, there are also many other famous scenic spots like Lihu Lake New Town Scenic Area(Lihu Lake Square, Lihu Park, Bogong Isle and Lihu Causeway), Wxui Underwater World, Taihu Lake Sqaure, Lihu Lake Central Park, Lianghong Wetland Park, China Stone-Art Park, Hongshan Relics Museum, Xuelang Hill Park, Taihu Lake Resort, Hongshawan Ecological Zone, Ancient Grand Canal, Huishan Ancient Town, Qian Zhongshu Old Residence, Zhang Wentian Old Residence, Nanchan Temple, Changguangxi National Wetland Park, Huishan Forest Park, Longsi Ecological Park, Xi Opera Museum. China National Industrial & Commercial Museum, China Township Enterprises Museum and Wuxi Ancient Kiln Cluster Museum.

Annually, the best time to travel Wuxi ranges from April to October. But during the plum rain season, it is not a good option to travel in Wuxi. The plum rain of Wuxi generally commences on June and lasts to July. During this period, the whole world is wet.

 The Highlights of History and Culture

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Kunqu Opera Culture China Guqin Culture China Calligraphy Culture Classical Garden Art
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Wang Xizhi Hu Xueyan Tang Bohu Dong Qichang

Editor: Julius from Mildchina
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