New Highlights of Changde-- Changde German Town and Changde River Street
Changde, called Wuling at ancient times, is often referred to as “the most precious jewel of the Dongting Lake”, as it boasts a long history and many beautiful scenery such as Taohuayuan, Liuye Lake, Poetry Wall, Jiashan Temple, Huping Mountain and so on.
Nowadays, Changde is definitely more attractive for tourists since it provides them with two new highlightsp: the exotic Changde German Town and the antique Changde River Street. A trip to Changde is incomplete without visiting both attractions which flank the Chuanzi River, the gold belt of Changde. Here you can enjoy varied scenic beauties, a host of fun events and activities to entertain you and your family.
Changde German Town
Changde German Town is situated in the northwest of Chuanzi River Specialty Business Street, stretching from Qili Bridge in the south to Liuye Avenue in the north. The total area of the town is over 21,500 square meters, with a total construction area of about 46,800 square meters. There are 16 buildings and 390 parking spaces(23 on the ground, 367 under the ground). The buildings and architectures here are suffused with typical German flavors, creating a typical German town.
With pitched roofs, colorful walls and bright windows, these magnificent architectures in Changde German Town are full of exotic flavors, just like those in Hanover, Germany. Therefore, Changde German Town is often considered to be an epitome of Hanover, and it also witnesses the enduring friendship between both cities.
In Changde German Town there are many opportunities to find peaceful spots of great pleasure hidden among the busy city. Here you can wander along the main alleys, stroll in charming boutiques and specialty shops of every description, visit the extraordinary museums, and finally enjoy yourself in a corner bar with a glass of beer. What a day!
In order to remain the original style of a town in Germany, the German Town was designed by German Hanover Water Association. It is of a traditional style of German architecture and boasts typical elements belonging to German and European urban areas. Some external decorative materials, such as copper tile, bricks, insulation system, are all directly imported from Germany. The stores here mainly are managed by the Germans, selling German products.
The exhibition hall, “German Hanover Window”, allows tourists to have a full knowledge of Hanover, showing its unique culture and history, including its development, local customs, the “red route” tourism, and Hanover-style carnival. The hall serves as a symbol of reflecting the friendly exchanges between Changde and Hanover.
A unique way to view the Chuanzi River, the Liuye Lake and their natural surroundings is by water buses as the waterway comes to service. Such splendid views provide tourists with a great escape into nature. Actually, the German Town along the Chuanzi River is a perfect spot to savor German stout while watching the water bus shuttling back and forth.
No matter what you fancy, you will never be at a loss of what to do. In this lovely town, the possibilities of fun and relaxation are endless. Visitors will enjoy various activities such as appreciating the exotic architectures, savoring the delicious food, watching different foreign performances including Bavaria dance, band and magic, colorful fireworks, cheerful music, beer party, music party, guitar, bass, drums...
Looking for a slower pace instead? Welcome to Changde German Town -- a European-style street with hotels, bars and cafes; a miniature “German city” of original flavors; a high-level arena for internationally cultural and artistic exchange; a modern business center.
Changde River Street
Changde River Street is located in the southeast of Chuanzi River Specialty Business Street, extending from Ziyuan Road in the west to Changde Avenue in the east. Based on Mayang Street, Big River Street and Small River Street, it is restored into an antique street rich in history and scenic beauty, with a range of shops, hotels and attractions of unique Changde features. The total street area reaches 131315 square meters, with the total construction area of 84852.14 square meters and parking spaces of 1202 (607 on the ground and 595 under the ground).
“Sugar-oil baba, sweet sugar-oil baba...” sonorous cries are ringing in ears, the sweet scent of caramel tickling one’s taste buds. A long flagstone walkway meanders gently through a range of ancient walls, restaurants and stores of all varieties. Myriads of red lanterns along the river are joined by sunset glow to create a brightly lit ancient town. What a retiring serenity here!
As an ancient street bearing the nostalgia of all Changde people, Changde River Street is rich in history and profound in cultural deposits. According to Changde Chronicle during the reign of Jiaqing in Qing Dynasty, Yuan River was flanked by walls on the one side, where there was a busy river street stretching over 2000 m, including Big River Street, Small River Street and Mayang Street. It was once praised by Shen Congwen, the great writer, as the Grand Pier in Western Hunan. However, the prosperity and beauty of Changde River Street was lost in its very decay after the damage during Anti-Japanese War and the building of flood bank in 1980s.
Nowadays, Changde River Street takes on a new look, as the efforts in restoration came to an end. It is now a new street full of vitality, romance and poetic flavor. As an antique commercial street, it provides an enormous array of lodging and dining, folk opera performance, river cruises and great shopping and so on. All in all, it is built as a cultural tourist town covering almost every aspect with a purpose of enabling Changde people to sustain their nostalgia.
Around Changde River Street, the air is clean and the path of flagstone and arched stone bridge conform to everyone’s idea of what Chinese scenery should look like. Ever-changing beauty in different seasons is beyond description. Apart from natural beauty, you can also have a chance to enjoy extraordinary intangible cultural performances such as Changde Sixian Opera, Huagu Opera, Jinghe Opera, Taoyuan Embroidery and minority songs and dances.
Changde River Street offers a sketchy picture of valuable Chinese traditions particularly in festivals. For example, in the Spring Festival, the antique street is embellished with red lanterns like rosy flowers wavering in chilly winter. Multitudes of people flow into the street, celebrating the coming of a new year. How prosperous that scene is! Of course, you can also appreciate performances with ancient Hunan characteristics, watch fireworks and enjoy delicious food, observing the new year with others among such a happy climate.
Here you can enjoy all kinds of specialties famous for their taste and flavor. Among the great variety of local specialties, the most peculiar is Leicha tea, or a soup of 3 ingredients which is tasted lightly fragrant, mildly hot and slightly salty. Other snacks such as Changde noodles, stinky tofu and Jiangbanya(spicy salted duck) are so palatable that visitors will become addicted as soon as they have a taste.
Adapted by Li Haijun, Chen Baoni, Li Si, Li Jing，Yao Wenjin