Gongchen Bridge is north to Daguan bridge and is connecting to Lishui Road and Taizhou Road in the east, Qiaonong Street and Xiaohe Road in the West. It is the highest and longest stone arch bridge among ancient bridges in Hangzhou as well as the mark of the end point of the Grand Canal. The bridge is still in use and remains charming as before.

    Gongchen Bridge is 92.1m in length, 16m in height. The middle section of the bridge deck is 5.9m in width, while the section at the abutment on the both ends is 12.2 in width. The bridge is a three-arch thin pier multiple arched hump bridge. The net spans of the side arches and the middle arches are 11.9m and 15.8m respectively. The thickness of the arch stone is 30cm, the thickness of the umber back launching fillet is 20cm. The bridge adopts timber pile foundation and the arch adopts longitudinally paratactic segmented masonry. The bridge body was built of slabs arranged in stagger. The pier is diminished layer by layer. There are King’s raiment made of stone on the both sides of the deck. Top of the buttress is carved with the picture of “two dragons playing with a ball”. In the middle arch, there are embossed lotuses. On the buttress there are inscriptions that not discernable now.

    Gong literally means meeting, Chen means emperor place. The majestic arched stone bridge was a symbol of welcome and respect for the king. Thus, we know that Gongchen Bridge was the place to greet emperor in ancient time and was the North Gate of Hangzhou. 

    The bridge was built in the 4th year of Chongzhen reign in Ming Dynasty (1631), collapsed in 8th year of Shunzhi reign in Qing Dynasty. In 51st year of Kangxi reign (1712), people appealed to rebuild the bridge. The finance commissioner Duan Zhixi initiated donation for the construction, supported by monk Huilu of Yunlin Temple and others. The rebuilding project was completed in December of 56th year (1917). In 5th year of Yongzheng reign (1721), it was renovated. The bridge is simple, solid and imposing. It is the mark of the end of the Grand Canal as well as the transport hub in Hangzhou Section of Grand Canal.

    In Jan. 1986, the bridge was listed cultural relic under municipal protection by Hangzhou Municipal People’s Government.

    In 2005, it was renovated again by Hangzhou Grand Canal Group.

    Despite of vicissitude of time, Gongchen Bridge still remains majestic and stands firm across Grand Canal. The renovation of Gongchen Bridge was well-recognized by majority of citizens as well as leading experts of ancient bridge in China.


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