Sunday, February 22, 2009

Arch Bridges: The Anshun Bridge (1)

Stone arch bridges have been built in China for over  2.000 years.
Long, open spandrel stone arch spans have been built since 600 AD (such as the Zhaozhou Bridge). Shapes like 'horse's hoof,' 'egg-shaped,' 'pot bottom,' and 'pointed,' refer to variations of catenary, parabolic, circular, and elliptical arches used in China.  An excellent history of arch structures can be found in 'Chinese Bridges' by Ronald G. Knapp.
The Anshun (Peaceful and Favorable) Bridge crosses the Jinjiang River in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China.  Marco Polo mentions it as one of four Chinese bridges that he admired during his travels.  That bridge was destroyed during flooding in 1980's. Li Chuncheng, the mayor of Chengdu in 2003, had the bridge rebuilt with a popular restaurant on top as part of an effort to revitalize downtown, which was highly successful.  The new bridge is a three span, closed spandrel stone arch, with stone dragons seated on cutwaters below round openings to reduce water pressure during floods.
Walking along the river, I saw couples practicing ballroom dancing (or strolling arm in arm), children catching cicadas with branches, groups practicing Tai Chi Chuan, old men smoking pipes, and young men fishing between the many different arch bridges crossing the Jinjiang River.
Creative Commons License
Arch Bridges: The Anshun Bridge (1) by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

1 comment:

Ajay said...

Gr8 stuff
pictures with the detail very nice