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Nanjing Qinhuai River

Introducing Nanjing Qinhuai River, Nanjing Qinhuai River Guide, Nanjing Qinhuai River Travel Guide
Article from Nanjing Municipal Commission of Tourism

As the Mother River of Nanjing, Qinhuai River is the cradle giving birth to ancient culture of Nanjing. If one wished to consider the Yangtze as the ego of Nanjing, and the city wall as its superego, there is only one element that could be called its id: Nanjing Qinhuai River.
While its source lies more than one hundred kilometers away, Nanjing Qinhuai River is the section that passes through Nanjing which is the most significant, as for centuries it was here that the women of the flower boats were found.

Nanjing Qinhuai River had long since been famous as a trading center, first developed during the Southern Dynasties period that preceded the arrival of the Sui, and once the city recovered from the disaster wrought by Emperor Wendi, the riverbank properties, including the flower boats, grew ever more lucrative. For a price, one could choose songs for the women to sing as old men poled the boats downstream; for a significantly higher price, the old men could be left on the bank.

According to Ye Zhaoyan's Old Nanjing: Reflections of Scenes on the Qinhuai River, after wilting under the strictures of the Taiping, the flower boats flourished again for a time in the late Qing, but in the years of the Republic, growing pollution and heavy construction led the women to move from the banks of Qinhuai River to the 'song-and-tea houses' located in and around Gongyuan Street. Such was the situation in 1949 when the Communist armies took Nanjing, and did their best to stamp out the industry altogether.

It must also be said that the Qinhuai has not always been the city's erotic core; it was once simply a river known as Huaishui, and its current course has little in common with its original one. Beginning in 221 B.C., Qin Shihuang united most of present-day China under the banner of his Xian-based Qin empire. Brilliant and ruthless, he is credited with a number of extraordinary achievements: he began construction on what would one day be the Great Wall, and oversaw both the introduction of an efficient weights and measurement system and the standardization of written Chinese; to this day his place in history is defended by the extraordinary army of terracotta warriors discovered in one section of his mausoleum. Unfortunately, he was also somewhat paranoid, and became obsessed with the notion that somewhere in his vast holdings there were corners with such impeccable feng shui that other leaders would invariably rise there to challenge him. In the course of his imperial surveys, he searched for such corners, and found one here in Nanjing. He brought in hundreds of thousands of workers and ordered them quite literally to move mountains---Fangshan in particular---to destroy the area's topographico-spiritual balance.

Outside the city walls, Nanjing Qinhuai River can be visited via boats that leave from Stone City Harbor. The riverbanks here, now lined with willows and oleander, were first settled some 2500 years ago. In one place the barest remains of Yue City can be seen on the west bank; there's a rectangular stone foundation that still stands intact and solid at the waterline. There is also a bronze statue of Fan Li, the Yue general who oversaw the city's construction.

Quick Facts on Nanjing Qinhuai River

Name: Nanjing Qinhuai River
Location: Qinhuai District Nanjing
Phone: +86-25-52209788
Best Time to Visit: March to November
Recommended Time for a Visit: 2 Hours
Opening Hours: All Day
Admission Fee: Free
Qinhuai River Cruise: CNY55 ( Daytime ); CNY80 ( Night 18:00 - 22:00 )

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