Marco Polo Bridge

Top 5 Lists

Over this river there is a very fine stone bridge, so fine indeed, that it has very few equals in the world."

-Diary of Marco Polo

Located 15 km southwest of Tiananmen Square, over the Youngding River, the Lugou Bridge (Marco Polo Bridge, the bridge was so named and known to the west owing to the description of the famous Italian explorer Marco Polo) is the oldest existing multi-arched stone bridge in the Beijing area. Construction of the original bridge on this site commenced in 1189 and ended in 1192 and was later reconstructed in 1698.

The Lugou Bridge is 266.5 meters in length and 9.3 meters in width, supported on 11 piers. At the side of the bridge stand two steles. One carries the inscription about the rebuilding of the bridge in the 37th years of the reign of Emperor Kangxi, Qing (1698 AD). On the other stele ones sees the calligraphy means "the morning moon of Lugou" by Emperor Qianlong.

On each of the 281 white marble pillars stands a stone lion. The most intriguing feature of these beasts is the fact that there are more lions hiding on the head, back or under the belly or on paws of each of the big lions. Investigations to determine total number of animals have been carried out on several occasions but the results have proved inconsistent, ranging anywhere from 482 to 496.

However, record has it that there were originally 627 lions. The posture of lion varies, as do their ages. Most date from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, some are from the earlier Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368); while the few lions dating from as long ago as the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) are now quite rare.

China's entry into World War II began with shots on the Marco Polo Bridge on July 7, 1937 when the Japanese attacked Chinese troops, resulting in the occupation of Beijing. This is known as the “Marco Polo Bridge Incident.” To memorize the 50th anni

Take bus No. 309 or 339.

How to Get to there?

Tips & articles

The Marco Polo Bridge is located 15 kilometers southwest of Beijing proper. Known also as the Guangli Bridge, it spans the banks of the Yongding River. According to historical records, the "Lugou River is also called the Heishui (Black Water) River." In the ...Read More
Lugou Qiao, also known as the Marco Polo Bridge, is one of the earliest segmented stone arch bridges. The Diary of Marco Polo says, "Over this river there is a very fine stone bridge, so fine indeed, that it has very few equals in the world." The bridge is 260 ...Read More
Guangji Bridge, commonly named Xiangzi Bridge, Guangji Bridge which spans the Hanjiang east of the city, is the first bascule bridge in the world, and one of the four most famous ancient bridges in China, together with Zhaozhou Bridge in Hebei Province, ...Read More

forum discussion

Recent posts

by Annapurna 2011-05-20
Being the key national cultural relics protection unit, national patriotism education base, the first batch of national red classic tourism scenic spot, LugouBridge is located on YongdingRiver southwest of Beijing, 15km far away from Tiananmen Square. It is also one historical and cultural scenic spot. Tourist can go there along Jingshi Expressway and ...
by Maisie 2011-05-23
Mount Kunyu is located on the Shandong Peninsula (aka Jiaodong Peninsula) in the Yellow Sea, just south of the Liaodong Peninsula which lies across the bay to the north, Liaodong Peninsula being the part of China that is contiguous with the Korean Peninsula. Together, the Jiaodong and the Liaodong Peninsulas are the pincers, as it were, that encircle the ...
by Lani 2011-05-23
Hangzhou is a city rich with history and culture, spanning back over 2,200 years. It made a name for itself in the Seventh Century, when the Grand Canal, the world's longest canal opened and linked Hangzhou to Beijing and other centers of trade. The South Song Dynasty (A.D. 1127-1279) helped make Hangzhou famous when the imperial family settled here early in ...