Stunning 1,000 Year Old Bridges You Can Still Walk Across in China Because of Exquisite Craftsmanship

    The Yangmeizhou Bridge is 47.6 meters long and 4.9 meters wide. (newsancai.com)Look closely at the prime example of beam weaving used to create solid support underneath the Luanfeng Bridge. (Newsancai.com)Another prime example of beam weaving on the Yangmeizhou Bridge. (newsancai.com)A passerby walks across an arched wooden lounge bridge, the Yangmeizhou Bridge from the Ming Dynasty in Shouning County. (newsancai.com)The Yangmeizhou Bridge is a protected cultural relic. (newsancai.com)The Luanfeng Bridge in Xiadang Village in south east China. (newsancai.com)The Qiancheng Bridge in Fujian Province’s Fuzhou City is even older. It is 62.7 meters long and 4.9 meters wide, and was built during the Southern Song Dynasty. (newsancai.com)The ancient wooden arch bridges are designed by carpenters trained in comprehensive apprenticeships by family and clan members. (newsancai.com)

    These extraordinary wooden bridges, built nearly 1,000 years ago, are still in use in south east China. They used a clever technique called “beam weaving.”

    Yangmeizhou Bridge and Luanfeng Bridge are great examples of ancient “beam weaving.” These strong wooden bridges are listed as cultural relics, yet still a fully functional part of life in China’s Fujian and Zhejiang provinces.

    Among the 100-plus arched wooden “lounge bridges” in China, 19 are in Fujian Province’s Shouning County.

    The Qiancheng Bridge in Tangkou Village in Fujian Province is even older. It is 62.7 meters long and 4.9 meters wide, and was built during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 to 1279). Having been rebuilt several times, the bridge remains an iconic image of ancient Chinese construction arts. The bridge has been included on UNESCO’s National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

    This craftsmanship and wisdom needed for construction and maintenance has been passed down through the generations by master carpenters through rigorous apprenticeship procedures among the relatives within a clan.

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