The Tongzhou section of the Grand Canal was opened to navigation on the morning of October 3, 2019, giving visitors a chance to enjoy exquisite views of Beijing's sub-center.
— The Tongzhou section of the Grand Canal was opened to navigation on the morning of October 3，2019. The navigation section, with a length of 11.4 kilometers, runs through Tongzhou Olympic Sports Park, Tongzhou Canal Park, Grand Canal Forest Park，and Grand Canal Business district, giving visitors a chance to enjoy exquisite views of Beijing's sub-center.
In the distant east lies a loong, and her name is China. Scrutinizing from above this marvelous country with a civilization of 5,000 years, one would see the ancestors of Chinese nation had written with great cost the most important Chinese character which means “human” in English on the vast land of China.The two radicals constituting the “human” are the two manual wonders: the lofty Great Wall as the firm left-falling stroke, and the profound Grand Canal as the tender right-falling stroke. This tender right-falling stroke is the first hand-dug canal in the world with over 2,500 years of history; It is also the longest canal stretching over 1,700 kilometers, ten times longer than the Suez Canal and twenty times the Panama Canal.
The Great Canal has intersection with the five major river systems in China and forms a river network: Haihe River, the Yellow River, Huaihe River, the Yangtze River and the Qiantang River. Throughout the long history from the Spring and Autumn and the Warring State period, the developments in politics, economy and culture of Chinese nation have left visible and profound marks along the banks of the canal.
2,000 years on, multitudinous intangible and tangible cultural heritages have been well produced and preserved along the banks. In 2014, the Great Canal was officially listed as a world cultural heritage.
Beijing grand canal is the northernmost course of the Grand Canal. The canalization of the Beijing grand canal started from Han Dynasty, but it was not linked up to the Grand Canal until Guo Shoujing, a scientist in Yuan Dynasty, drew water from Baifu Spring through the canalization of Tonghui River and thence its confluence with the Grand Canal. Beijing grand canal is around 82 kilometers long in total. It is the completion of the Grand Canal that has contributed to Beijing’s status as the imperial city of six dynasties, leaving an anecdote that “Beijing is a drifter-made city.” Ranging from the loong-engirdled pillars and golden bricks of the Forbidden City to the black bricks and timbers of the Hall of Supreme Harmony, a variety of rare materials “drifted” along the Canal to Beijing from all over China to build a resplendent city.
Today, Beijing grand canal is bestowed with a full Beijing appeal and spirit with dense culture.The establishment of a sub-center (Tongzhou city) has also revitalized tourism along the Canal. The perfect integration of new benchmarks and concepts, such as Beijing Universal Studios and Urban Green Heart, allows the coexistence of ancient canal culture and Beijing’s new look and of the past and present. The grand glazed tiles, white marble rails and bronze Jiao-loong have time-proofed the ancient royal culture. Limpid Kunming Lake, Shichahai Lake, Taiye Lake and Yuhe River are having a startling interplay with Tower of Buddhist Incense on Longevity Hill, weeping willows along Jishuitan and the White Pagoda on Jade Flower Island. On the gate of the Forbidden city, the turrets composed of nine beams, eighteen pillars and seventy-two ridges are like seniors, who have been through vicissitudes and are telling an unfading story to showcase the brilliant and vivid histories.
When strolling along the Beijing grand canal, one can study the ancient culture in serene temples, streets, docks, riversides, river ports, shops and clubs; or savor the ingenuity in lotus ponds, gardens, lighthouses and ships, carved stone relics and the old kiln porcelain; or even observe the profound Chinese culture in master’s calligraphy, literati clubs, opera houses and folk performance. Will it take a day, a month or a year? Perhaps it would take more time than what you could possibly imagine.
Name: Yang Xu
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