City of Lanzhou: A pearl on the upper reaches of the Yellow River
Bridges, water wheels, Qingcheng ancient town, and shehuo performances
Lanzhou is a beautiful city, boasting a host of natural and cultural marvels, which was established over two thousand years ago in Northwest China’s Gansu province. It is an important industrial base and a key transportation hub in Northwest China, as well as a significant site on the Silk Road Economic Belt.
An aerial photo of Lanzhou – a beautiful city in Northwest China’s Gansu province – at night. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Landmarks in Lanzhou: Bridges and waterwheels
Lanzhou is located in the upper reaches of the Yellow River, to the west of the Loess Plateau. The Yellow River flows from the southwest to the northeast, crossing the whole city, and there are numerous bridges across the river here.
The Zhongshan Bridge, built in 1909, is the oldest bridge in Lanzhou and the first real bridge over the 5,464-kilometer-long Yellow River. Therefore, it is known as “the first bridge spanning the Yellow River under Heaven”. Meanwhile, the Shen’an Bridge and Yuantong Bridge are modern bridges built in the 21st century. These three bridges not only bring convenience to urban traffic but are also three beautiful scenic spots over the Yellow River.
Zhongshan Bridge is credited as ‘the first bridge spanning the Yellow River under Heaven’. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Lanzhou is also known as “a city of water wheels”. A waterwheel is an ancient facility for water conservancy. Lanzhou water wheel, with its unique manufacturing technology, was invented by Duan Xu, a native of Lanzhou during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The waterwheel uses the natural power of the Yellow River’s flow to irrigate nearby farmland. Come to the Lanzhou Waterwheel Park and see the reconstructed Lanzhou Waterwheels!
Waterwheels in the Lanzhou Waterwheel Park. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Ancient Town in Qingcheng
Lanzhou is famous for its ancient towns and traditional culture as well. Ancient Town in Qingcheng is a gem glittering on the south bank of the Yellow River, in the northernmost part of Yuzhong county, Gansu province. It is the only national-level town of historic and cultural value under the administration of Lanzhou. Chinese folk arts and well-preserved ancient folk dwellings are the pride of the hidden town.
A view of Ancient Town in Qingcheng in Lanzhou. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Shehuo: Lanzhou’s intangible cultural heritage
Shehuo, Lanzhou’s intangible cultural heritage, originates from the sacrificial ceremonies which were performed by northern Chinese cultures in the distant past. It is an old and widespread folk tradition. Since the 1980s, Shehuo performances have grown popular in the towns and counties of Lanzhou during the Spring Festival. People perform Shehuo in both the first and twelfth months of the Chinese lunar calendar as a ritual intended to avoid disasters, wish for blessings, and provide entertainment.
Shehuo performances during the Spring Festival. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Tourist attractions and food in Lanzhou
Lanzhou has very rich tourism and cultural resources. Come and explore the Gansu Provincial Museum, the Shen’an and Yuantong bridges, the water wheels, the Confucius Temple, Xinglong Mountain, and Yantan Park. Oh – and don’t miss the Lanzhou Beef Noodles!
The bronzed galloping horse, a treasured part of the collection of the Gansu Provincial Museum in Lanzhou [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
The delicious Lanzhou Beef Noodles, the most famous local halal food [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]