Monday, April 29, 2013

Lugou Qiao and Memorial Museum of the Chinese People's Anti - Japanese War

Lions on Lugou Qiao or Marco Polo Bridge in Beijing

A couple of weeks ago Margot and I visited Lugou Qiao or Marco Polo Bridge in southwest Beijing.
Lugou Qiao or Marco Polo Bridge

The bridge was constructed in 1189.

In Marco Polo's Diary he said, "Over this river there is a very fine stone bridge, so fine indeed, that it has very few equals in the world." Although, there are some who don't think Marco Polo actually made it all the way to Beijing.

The lions are said to be too numerous to count. There are apparently about 485 lions lining both sides of the bridge. Some have been replaced over the years. This one looks to be relatively new.

This is one of the older ones. It is said that they are all different.

The structure in the background is the gate into Wanping fortress. Wanping dates to the 17th century. Of course, now Beijing has completely engulfed it.

The bridge is on a strategic route to Beijing from the south.
Tour group on Lugou Qiao or Marco Polo Bridge

The flag belongs to a tour group. We got there by taking the subway to Wukesong and then taking a taxi to the bridge.

The area between the bridge and Wanping is a park. There are a number of sculptures describing the building of the bridge. The bridge was build of solid marble without cranes or power tools.

These two guys were enjoying the sunshine.

The park is actually an overpass over the 5th ring road, but you would never know it.
Gate at Wanping fortress at Lugou Qiao or Marco Polo Bridge in Beijing

This picture is inside Wanping. It is a small village now.

These guys are doing some renovation and upgrading work.
Memorial The Museum of the Chinese People's Anti - Japanese War

Wanping is the site of the Memorial Museum of the Chinese People's Anti - Japanese War. This location was chosen because the bridge was the site of the first shots of the War of Resistance on July 7, 1937.

The picture is some of the leaders of the war. Mao is second from the right. There is a lot of English and Japanese in the descriptions so it is pretty easy to follow along. However, I don't imagine they get too many Japanese visitors. See a couple down for an explanation.

Here is what the bridge looked like in 1937.
A slide rule at the Memorial Museum of the Chinese People's Anti - Japanese War

I couldn't resist adding this one. I don't remember why this one was there. I imagine it had to do with the tools used in the war effort. Ironically, this looks like a Japanese slide rule.

There is quite a bit of space dedicated to Japanese war atrocities. The official number is 300,000 murdered in Nanjing.

Here is a Japanese torture device. The inside is lined with nails. Use your imagination on how it worked.

Some very gruesome pictures that are hard to look at.

Here is something more positive. It is an x-ray machine made by Fisher in Chicago and purchased by overseas Chinese and shipped to China by the US Army.

Friday, April 26, 2013


Changpuhe Park in Beijing

About 3 weeks ago we took a walk on a nice weekend afternoon. As you can see spring has arrived in Beijing.
People in Changpuhe Park in Beijing

There were a lot of people out enjoying the sunshine in the park - playing cards, dancing, people watching, etc.

This is Changpuhe Park. It is just north of Chang'An Ave near the Forbidden City.
Bridge in Changpuhe Park in Beijing

I took a picture from this same location back in December on a much colder day. On that day we were the only people in the park besides a couple of other hardy souls.

You can compare the winter scene here  Winter Scene if you scroll down.

This worker was taking a nap when he saw him. Notice the brooms. Whenever I have seen these I assumed they were old leftovers from the 30 years ago. I guess I'm wrong - these look brand new.
Hutong south of Qianmen Avenue

Later on we wandered through the old hutong neighborhoods south of Qianmen Ave. It is very quiet in these narrow streets.

Although it is very quiet, someone is always just around the corner going about their business.
Fish drying in a window in hutong

Then you see things like this. Fish drying in the window of a home. I don't imagine they add a very nice aroma to the breeze blowing in the window.
Bird in cage in hutong in Beijing

It was a nice day for birds to enjoy, also.
Dazhalan or Dashilan gate in Beijing

This is the entrance to Dazhalan or Dashilan.

Da means big and zhalan means railing or bars. In days past neighborhoods were fenced  or walled off and the gates in the big fences were closed at night as a security measure. This neighborhood had a large railing keep questionable people out at night.

Even today most residential areas are sort of walled off with just a few entrances although they seem to be open all the time.
Silk store in Dashilan in Beijing

This area has long been a commercial street.

This picture is inside one of the old silk stores in Dazhalan.

This picture is outside the store above.

You can see other pictures from the area at this link. --> Dazhalan and Liulichang

Down the street we ran into an area of outdoor restaurants. These guys are serving Halal lamb or chicken by the looks of their hats.

This area is near what was the Muslim quarter of Beijing.

Another picture of the Qianmen area.

This area was completely rebuild a few years ago. When we were here in 2006 the area was completely blocked off for redevelopment. They have replicated the style from before but it is all new.