Waibaidu Bridge

Known as the Garden Bridge in English, the century-old Waibaidu Qiao is a deservedly popular city icon. Connecting the Huangpu and Hongkou districts, across the lower reaches of Suzhou Creek, the bridge affords wonderful views out over the Huangpu to the Pearl Tower and Pudong.

The earliest incarnation of the bridge was made of wood and financed by a foreign consortium in 1856; prior to that the only way across the Creek was by ferry. The all-steel structure on show today (the only such bridge in China) first opened in 1908 (to enable trams and automobiles to cross too), and later played an important role in the Second World War, as a border post between the Japanese and International Settlements (respectively, to the north and south of Suzhou Creek).

Around the time of its centenary the thousand-ton bridge was dismantled, shipped across the river for repairs (and the addition of some tasteful neon lighting), and, in mid-2009, restored to its original position with the hope of extending its lifespan for at least another 50 years.


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