Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Great Charity Bridge in China

Thank you so much Huang for this wonderful set of 3 se-tenant stamps depicting the Guangji Bridge (广济桥), also known as the Great Charity Bridge.  It is an ancient bridge that crosses the Han River in Chaozhou, Guangdong province.  A key cultural relic under national protection, the bridge is renowned as one of China's four famous ancient bridges.

The Guangji was originally a pontoon bridge built in AD 1170 during the Southern Song Dynasty with a length of 518 metres.  Later, construction of piers and framework started from both banks of the river on which it was moored, and 200 years later the current form of the bridge, with a floating section supported by 18 wooden pontoons between two beamed sections, was completed.  The floating section can be disconnected for the passage of large boats, an innovation that set a precedent in bridge-building history.

The cover was sent on November 21, 2010 from Wuhan, Hubei and arrived on January 26, 2011.

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