The center of Chongqing is formed by the interesection of two large pedestrian walkways. At this interesection, the People's Liberation Memorial Tower was erected in 1950. When the clock on this tower strikes the hour, it plays a song about Mao Zedong. There are also several banyan trees along these walkways, which is the tree of Chongqing.
This is the entrance to a Qing Dynasty house and courtyard in an ancient city that is now part of Chongqing. The owner of this home was in charge of buying personal possesions for Dowager Empress Cixi. This door opens into a courtyard, surrounded by the rooms of the house. Notice the high door threshhold at the top of the stairs. In ancient China, the higher the threshhold to the door, the more important the family was. The lion sculpture in the front is a female lion, because she has a lion cub under her paw. The male lion is on the other side of the doorway, out of the picture, holding a ball under his paw.
The furniture in the house was not original to the house, but is from the same time period. Here we see Lee standing by one of his favorite things - a bookcase. The books in the top shelf (by Lee's shoulder) are very old dictionaries that consist of pages sewn together at the edge.
The whole house is framed with the huge beams you see behind Lee in this picture. All of them are expertly fit together without the use of a single nail.
This is the washstand in the guest bedroom. Even ordinary objects were beautifully carved and decorated with gold and color. The windows to the left open into the central courtyard. Windows in many Chinese buildings had this kind of wooden lattice in various patterns. This same pattern is echoed in the base of the washstand.
The Yangtze River flows right through Chongqing. It is the longest river in China, and the third longest in the world. In the background you can see some of the mountains that Chongqing is built on. There is even a cable car strung from the mountains on one side of the river to the mountains on the other side, allowing people to cross the river without having to climb down the mountain and back up again on the other side.
The sun is setting over the confluence of the Yangtze and JiaLing rivers. We were standing where the ancient city of Chongqing was first built. To the right of the picture, the Yangtze flows on its way to Shanghai. Much of China's shipping goes down the Yangtze River, as it has throughout history.
After the sun goes down, the city lights up, showing Chongqing to be a modern city. We went to Goose Hill Public Garden and climbed a tower to get this view.
These are the lights along the Yangtze River, as viewed from the same tower. They look like a Chinese dragon, stretching into the night.
This is the Two Rivers Viewing Tower we took the previous two pictures from. High above Chongqing, the view is truly spectacular.
Even though it was dark, we enjoyed our stroll through the park. There were banks of flowers blooming, and frogs croaked in the lotus pond. There are two memorials in the park as well. One to two Soviet soldiers who died fighting alongside the Chinese against the Japanese, and the other to ten men who died in the 1911 Revolution.
Copyright 2004, Dr. Lee Williams
Last Modified: 15 July 2004
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