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With 18 million inhabitants Shanghai is the biggest city in China. It is situated at the Huangpu River (a tributary of the Yangtze River), not far away from the East China Sea and so it is an important harbour. Shanghai is also an important industrial center. Shanghai originated from a settlement which developed in the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279). Shanghai means "over the sea". After China had lost the First Opium War (against Great Britain) in 1842, it had to open 5 Chinese harbours (Canton (Guangzhou), Xiamen, Fuzhou, Ningbo und Shanghai) for trade. Because of the open harbours many European came to Shanghai. European quarters with buildings in European style originated. Until today in Shanghai there are buildings of the former French Concession. At the beginning of the 20th century many European came to Shanghai, because of Shanghai's good economic development. In this time it was a luxurious and expensive city. In 1937 Japan occupied Shanghai. After the Second World War the communists suppressed the western style of life in Shanghai. The strict communist laws made it unable for Shanghai to develop. In the Nineties of the 20th century the situation has changed and so more and more modern skyscrapers were built. In a short time a modernization in Shanghai began. Shanghai's bank promenade which is called Bund is very famous. Bund is a mixed word from the English and the Indian language. This bank promenade is situated at the Huangpu River. On one side of the Huangpu there are older buildings and many of them are built in the European architectural style. They came from the time when Great Britian and other Western powers had got much influence in China. The building of the former Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank from 1923 is very remarkable. On the other bank side of the Huangpu there is Pudong (district in Shanghai) with many modern skyscrapers. The TV tower in Pudong is 468 m high and belongs to the highest buildings in the world. Its name is Oriental Pearl Tower. The harbour of Shanghai belongs to the biggest harbours in the world. The center of Shanghai is the street Nanjing Lu. In the center of Shanghai there is also the People's Park. Next to the People's Park there is a modern opera house. Not far from the People's Park there is also the Shanghai Museum with a collection of Chinese art. Besides all these modern buildings Shanghai has got also an Old Town. The Old Town consists of nice small alleys and buildings which are built in a typical Chinese style. The Yuyuan Garden is very interesting. The official Pan En built this garden in the 16th century. Until today one can walk through this beautiful Chinese garden. Besides the buildings with curved roofs there are also ponds, trees and bizarre rocks (elements of a typical Chinese garden) in this garden. There are also a 400-year-old Ginkgo and a 100-year-old Magnolia in this garden. In Shanghai there is also a Jade Buddha Temple. In this temple there are two Jade Buddhas which were brought from Burma in 1881 by a monk. There are also many buddhist writings in this temple. This temple was built in 1918.

Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank
The Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank

Oriental Pearl Tower in Pudong
The Oriental Pearl Tower in Pudong

Yuyuan Garden
The Yuyuan Garden

Yuyuan Garden
The Yuyuan Garden

Author and Webmaster: Lukas Czarnecki

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Last Update: 03.08.2006