Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Bund, Shanghai

The Bund

The Bund, the most magnificent waterfront in the world. A series of historical buildings on the western shore of the HuangPu River, this area was formerly a foreign enclave, housing numerous banks and trading houses from the United Kingdom, France, United States of America, Russia, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, and Belgium, as well as the Shanghai Club, and the Masonic Club. It's been under heavy renovation for the past few years - I haven't been to this area in 6 years, owing to the amount of construction. The boardwalk lining the river has been raised a few metres, to assist in efforts to clean the HuangPu River, and as you can see, the concrete and benches are brand new.

The buildings have also been touched up, with floodlights illuminating the entire strip at night. In the foreground is the HSBC Building, followed by the Customs House, featuring those iconic clocks. Next is the Bank of Communications Building, followed by the Russo-Chinese Bank. They were built in the late 19th centure to early 20th century, and feature architectural styles such as Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Neo-Classical, Beaux-Arts, and Art Deco, with Shanghai possessing one of the richest collections of Art Deco architectures in the world. Grand - not many cities of the world share such a glorious past. Old Shanghai, at its most majestic.


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