Four Famous Bridges in Ancient China-Luoyang Bridge & Zhaozhou Bridge
The Chinese culture of the bridge in China started in the Sui Dynasty, with its popularity peaking in the Song Dynasty. Many of the Chinese ancient bridges are pioneering works in the world bridge industry. Previously we learned about two of the four famous bridges in ancient China, now here is some information on the other two; Quanzhou Luoyang Bridge and Zhaozhou Bridge.
Quanzhou Luoyang Bridge (Wan An Bridge)
Luoyang Bridge was previously called Wan An Bridge and was built from 1053-1059 in Quanzhou, Fujian province. With a length of 834 metres and width of 7 metres, Luoyang Bridge is the earliest stone bridge that crosses the sea and is regarded as one of the four famous bridges in ancient China. The building of the raft foundations was a significant innovation in world bridge building. Moreover, people bred oysters on the bridge footstone which strengthened the bridge foundations due to oyster gelatin, which made Luoyang Bridge the world's bridge that applied biology to its construction.
Initially, the bridge was 1,200 metres long and 5 metres wide with 46 piers. There were 500 bridge railings on two sides and 28 stone lions. Moreover, there were 7 stone pavilions and 9 stone towers, while currently there is only one pavilion and three towers left. Among ancient Chinese bridges, the project of Luoyang Bridge was one of the largest, which was also a reason for it to rank on the list of the four famous bridges in ancient China.
Zhaozhou Bridge is another of the most famous bridges and was built in the Sui Dynasty in Hebei province. Zhaozhou Bridge is also called Anji Bridge and is the world's first and best-preserved open-spandrel stone arch bridge. The bridge was designed by Lichun and is famous for its innovative construction. The bridge has one large arch and two small arches on each side of the spandrel of the large arch. The small arches are crucial with many functions, such as saving materials, reducing the weight of the bridge, lessening the impact of floods and of course the artistic value they bring. In addition, the large arch consists of 28 arch rings with each of the rings having the capability of supporting the bride independently. The large arch has a length of 37.04 metres. Zhaozhou Bridge was named as an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers and is regarded as one of the four famous bridges in ancient China.