Luoyang Bridge, the oldest stone beam bridge in China

Updated: 24 Aug 2010
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Luoyang Bridge, Quanzhou
Luoyang Bridge (洛阳桥), also called Wan'an Bridge (万安桥), was built between 1053 and 1059 by Cai Xiang (蔡襄), satrap of Fujian's Quanzhou in Song Dynasty. It strides over the Luoyang River from south to north in the southern suburb of Quanzhou.
The bridge is the first stone beam bridge at seat port ever built in China and is a monumental engineering project in the history of Chinese bridge construction. Together with Beijing's Lugou Bridge, Hebei's Zhaozhou Bridge and Guangdong's Guangji Bridge, Luoyang Bridge is renowned as one of the four famous ancient Chinese bridges.
Originally, this huge stone beam bridge suspending the port was 1,200 meters long and 5 meters wide with 46 piers, 500 balustrade posts, 28 carved lions, 7 stone kiosks, and 5 stone pagodas. Built with granite, the bridge features ship-like piers and a unique method of reinforcing the foundation. This magnificent bridge has a raft-style foundation reinforced by breeding oysters on the surface because they could help to bind the piers and the footstones together, a pioneering example in the annals of bridge construction in the world.
The construction project was very demanding. To build the foundation, many of stones were thrown into the river along the central line of the bridge to form a low dam. Bridge piers were then erected on the dam. Mucilage from a large quantity of oysters raised in the water beneath the bridge was used as an adhesive to attach the base to the piers.
Many stone tablets from past dynasties were erected near the middle pavilion on the Luoyang Bridge, including stone statues of pagodas and warriors. The site of a former temple lies on the north end of the bridge and Cai Xiang Temple stands on the opposite end. Inside the temple is a stone tablet from the Song Dynasty (960-1279) with an inscription by Cai Xiang recording his Notes on Wan'an Bridge (万安桥记). With its exquisite carvings, the tablet gained the reputation of 'Three Superbs' – superb calligraphy, superb article and superb carving.
How to get there:
Click maps to enlarge
1). Self-driving
Route: Drive along the Quanxia Expressway, get out at Quanzhou Toll Road, turn to G324 National Road.
2). Take a bullet train
Start from Xiamen Railway Station to Quanzhou Station, take a taxi there.
3). Take a long-distance bus
Start from Wucun Long-distance Bus Station to Quanzhou Long-distance Bus Station, take a taxi there.
For car rental and ticket booking, please contact Apple Travel at (86 592) 5074377.
4). Use a travel agent
Renting a van with a driver is the next best alternative.
SOURCE: compiled by WOX Travel with reference to China Culture

Other scenic attractions in Quanzhou: 

Garment retail haven in shopping Mecca of Shishi City

One-day tour in Quanzhou: the eastern terminus of Maritime Silk Road

Exploring ancient splendour of Maritime Silk Road in Quanzhou

7,500yo sunken ancient forest found at Jinjiang Shenhu Bay

Hui'an of Quanzhou - China's famous hub for international stone sculptures

Dazuo Village - Village of Hui'an women and their costumes

Tour in Yongchun - Niumulin Natural Reserve of Quanzhou

Apple Travel Xiamen Office (Main Office)
Address Shop 18-20,Guanren Rd (behind the Marco Polo Hotel)
361006 Xiamen,
Fujian Province, China
Reservations: (86-592)-5074177 
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Office Hours: Mon. - Fri. 08:30-18:00 Sat. 09:00-17:00 Sun. 13:00-17:00
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Comments Area ( Total Comments: 1 )
Canada Commented on 23 Sep 2011
Yes the bridge is nice but the surrounding water and facilities are not impressive. Combine this trip with the other long bridge in Quanzhou and hire your own driver. The taxi drivers will rip you off.