Beautiful Chuanzi River
History of Chuanzi River
The main channel of Chuanzi River was originally called Chuanzi Bridge Harbor, a harbor named after a wooden bridge called Chuanzi Bridge. According to Changde Chronicle, Chuanzi Bridge Harbor, lying in the west of Changde, was 4 km long. Due to the changes of topography and river system, the harbor subsequently turned to a river, thus the name Chuanzi River was employed.
In ancient time, Chuanzi River used to be the second moat of Changde City, the first one being Bian River. In 1986, Bian River was no longer in existence after being reconstructed into an underground channel. With the expansion of urban area of Changde City, Chuanzi River has gradually developed into a river system across the urban area of Changde City, which is unique in Hunan Province and also very rare all over China. Chuanzi River starts with Nanmin, traveling west to Zhuye Harbor, passing through Sha River, Chuanzi Bridge River, Chang Harbor, Baima Lake and so on. With a shape like the letter “Y”, it is only a dike away from Yuan River either in its east or west, and connects Liuye Lake in its northeast. Chuanzi River is really the “gold belt” of Changde City.
There stand 12 bridges over Chuanzi River, including Jianshe Bridge, Nanzhushan Bridge, Sanlv Bridge, Boyuan Bridge, Langzhou Bridge, Qili Bridge, Ziyuan Bridge, Chuanzi Bridge, Changsheng Bridge, Baimahu Bridge, Yinyuan Bridge, Xinqu Bridge and Xinhe Bridge. These bridges not only boast long history and profound culture, but also serve to ease traffic congestion and provide citizens with beautiful landscape.
Chuanzi River boasts rich historical relics. In 1996, Changde Cultural Relics Department excavated 50 tombs of the Warring States Period and Han Dynasty in Nanping Village, a village along the bank of Chuanzi River. In 2010, archaeologists excavated 6 pit tombs and brick-chambered tombs of the Wangmang Period and East Han Dynasty and discovered 30 valuable antiques in Chuanzi River Community.
Highlights of Chuanzi River
Sha River lies in the east of Chuanzi River. According to history, Zhu Yuanzhang, the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, dispatched Ha Bashi, a Uyghur general, and Ma Decheng, a Hui general to Changde in 1372. They and their soldiers settled along the banks of Sha River which have gradually developed into today’s Huis settlement. During the War of Liberation, 80 percent of Changde Huis lived there.
Close to Sha River is Sanlv Harbor. During the Warring States Period, Qu Yuan, a minister of the State of Chu with the title of Sanlv Daifu, was exiled to Changde. He often fished in the harbor so as to relieve his anguish of being unable to serve his state and his worries of the state’s future. In honor of such a great politician and poet, the harbor where he fished was named “Sanlv Harbor”.
Baima Lake (White Horse Lake)
Baima Lake is located in the west of Chuanzi River. A legend says that Chiyou, a mythological warrior engaged in fighting with the Yellow Emperor, was buried here and people killed a white horse as sacrifice, thus the name Baima Lake was employed. Liu Yuxi, a great poet of the Tang Dynasty, composed a poem to record the beauty of Baima Lake, which is a valuable cultural heritage of Chuanzi River.
Yinyuan Bridge crosses over Yinyuan River and boasts a beautiful love story. A legend says that it was on the bridge that Hu Xiuying, a fox spirit, encountered Liu Hai who just had finished cutting firewood. They fell in love at first sight and got married in the end, the bridge thus was endowed with the name -Yinyuan Bridge (Marriage Bridge). This love story is sung in Clear Chuanzi River by Wu Bixia, a well-known singer.
In ancient time, there were broad wetlands on both sides of Chuanzi River, where local farmers planted a large number of water chestnuts. In the harvest season, there appeared beautiful purple of water chestnuts, the bridge running through two sides was thus called Chuanzi Bridge (a bridge running through purple). Accoring to Changde Chronicle, Chuanzi Bridge, which was originally a wooden bridge lying in the west of Changde, was 4 km long. Now it is a reinforced concrete bridge after restoration.
Qili Bridge lies in the joint of Sanlv Harbor, Chuanzi River and Yinyuan River. It was built in the Ming Dynasty by a magistrate named Zhong Man. Later on, it was destroyed in war. It was restored by another magistrate named Song Gui. In the near future, it will be rebuilt into a wind and rain bridge with beautiful appearance.
Water Conservancy of Chuanzi River in Ancient Time
Ancient Changde people had deep affection for Chuanzi River. According to history, Changde water exploitation can be found as early as the Sui Dynasty and Tang Dynasty when a variety of agricultural irrigation projects were built along Chuanzi River. Only in the Tang Dynasty, Wuling County witnessed the construction of numerous agricultural irrigation projects and recorded it in official history. In that period, the agricultural economy of Wuling County achieved great development because of Changde people’s effective use of Chuanzi River.
Beautiful Chuanzi River of Today
Nowadays, Changde Municipal Government attaches much importance to the environmental improvement of Chuanzi River and tries to build it into a beautiful paradise where the citizens can enjoy themselves.
The west segment of Chuanzi River boasts wetlands totaling 26.2 km². On the one hand, measures will be taken to protect the existing natural wetlands; on the other hand, efforts will be made to increase area of wetlands. There are no wetlands in the east segment of Chuanzi River. However, we are going to build there a beautiful scenic belt with paths, bridges, landscape and tourism facilities along both banks of Chunzi River.
There appears a vigorous and charming scenery in today’s Chuanzi River. In 2007, EU held the First Water Resource Sustainable Management Forum in Changde city, in which EU experts summarized Changde experience of treating Chuanzi River, and then attempted to introduce it to cities of other Asian countries. As we can see, Chuanzi River acts as a “magnificent gallery” throughout Changde city, and really lives up to its reputation as “ a gold belt of Changde city”.
Please refer to eng.changde.gov.cn when using the article.
Translator: Li Haijun