Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Liuzhou Bridges 3 – Wenchang Bridge

bridges

Ten years ago, Liuzhou’s then top hotel, the government owned Liuzhou Hotel (柳州饭店) lay at the end of a cul-de-sac. This made it a very quiet, peaceful sort of place where the country’s leaders could have a good time when they were required to visit Liuzhou. Pretty much all the top guys have stayed there except Mao and, so far as I know, current leader, Xi Jinping. It is also where, in July 1954, North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh, met with Chinese Premier, Zhou Enlai to discuss tactics in the fight for independence from France. More here.

That all changed and now the hotel is on one of the city’s busiest roads. What happened?

Very simple. Liuzhou Government moved its headquarters from San Zhong Road to a new building immediately across the river from the hotel, dragging the People’s Hospital and Liuzhou High School with them. But they needed access to the city centre (and more particularly, the train station, which they found couldn’t realistically be moved for their convenience), so they built a bridge. The middle classes followed them into their ghettoes in the east, creating more and more traffic problems as they all needed a car each – and the bigger the better.

bridgesignAll through the planning stages and the building, the bridge was to be called 友谊大桥, or Friendship Bridge – the name coming from the street on which the hotel is situated.

Maps were printed showing this name and road signs erected.

To everyone’s surprise, when the bridge opened on September 16th, 2005, the name had been changed to 文昌大桥, after the road on the other side.

To this day you can see road signs have been modified at the last minute by sticking not quite matching plastic over the planned name.

After Wenhui Bridge, the river winds north for a while, so this bridge runs west-east rather than north-south like the first two in this series.

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The bridge starts at Liuzhou Hotel and ends right beside the the new government HQ, near the Radisson Hotel. Or vice versa.

Liuzhou Hotel

Liuzhou Hotel

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Liuzhou Government HQ – Liuzhou Lubyanka

The bridge doesn’t see much pedestrian traffic, but should you decide to cross it on foot, look out for the plaques on the sidewalks depicting and explaining some of Liuzhou’s sights, not all of which can be seen from the bridge.

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Wenchang Bridge

Wenchang Bridge looking west.

Wenchang Bridge looking west.

Wenchang Bridge looking east

Wenchang Bridge looking east

“Youyi Bridge” under construction

. This entry was posted on Sunday, August 24th, 2014 at 3:58 pm and is filed under Liuzhou Bridges. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “Liuzhou Bridges 3 – Wenchang Bridge”

  1. Liuzhou Bridges 4 – Guangya Bridge | Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    […] opposite Wenchang Bridge, across the “peninsula” lies one of Liuzhou’s newest bridges, Guangya Bridge […]



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