Location: Qiandeng Town, Kunshan City, Suzhou
Founding Time: Since the Ming Dynasty
Xiemaqiao Village, lying in the south of Shipu River in Qiandeng town, covers an area of 3.62 square kilometers. Advanced in natural geographic conditions, the village is superior in both water and land transport, with Suzhou-Hongqiao International Airport Road and Suzhou-Shanghai Expressway going from east to west.
Xiemaqiao Village, known as Xiema Bridge Village in Chinese, is named after one of its bridges as the name shows. It is said that Han Shizhong, a famous general named Han Shizhong in the Southern Song Dynasty, once stopped horses and rested in the village for a few days with his soldiers, where grass then grew exuberant nourished by the river across in the middle. To promote the communication between the two sides, General Han led his soldiers to build a bridge, which was exactly the Xiema Bridge, representing a bridge for horse stopping. From its antique appearance and two carved characters “乾隆” (indicating an ancient emperor in the Qing Dynasty) on it, it is estimated that the bridge has a history of more than 200 years. Similar with the look of Chinese character “弓”, Xiema Bridge stretches about 500 meters. Shipu River flows through Xiemaqiao Village from south to north, with three bridges over it, Nanmu Bridge on the south, Zhongshan Bridge (as known as Zhongshi Bridge) in the middle and Beishi Bridge north.
Xiemaqiao Village has an excellent preservation of ancient cultural sites, such as stone paths stretching nearly 500 meters long, a group of Ming and Qing architectures covering about 5,000 square meters, Xiema Bridge constructed by General Han Shizhong and his soldiers in the resistance against Jin’s invasion, the monuments of filial piety from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, 100-year-old sweet-scented osmanthus trees and Chinese boxwood. These traditional buildings, arranged on both sides of the stone path, mostly face the river that is clear to explore the earth in the bottom. The river banks, made of stones, are specially designed for boat stopping. Lines of trees stand by the river, among which residences are spotted with white-washed walls and black-tiled roofs, full of local atmosphere. What a charming landscape this canal town presents!