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Precious Belt Bridge

China, an East Asian country is one of the world’s oldest civilizations. It has a vast cultural history of more than five thousand years and an outstanding natural beauty. On the other hand, this country has remained a comparatively isolated and secluded one, and being a land of mystery, this country is not known to the western half of the world. However, China is rapidly developing and has grown in the phase of modernization, with an immense speed and is also welcoming the outer world to interact and do business with them.
The Baodai or Precious Belt Bridge is located in the south of Suzhou, near the Grand Canal. It is a bridge with 53 underneath arches, measuring 316.8 meters long. The bridge has been listed as one of the most famous multi-arched bridges in the worldwide and the grandest and longest in China.
Baodai Bridge was first built in the 11th year of the Yuanhe reign in the Tang Dynasty. It was so named in order to commemorate Wang Zhongshu, governor in Suzhou, who had donated his precious jade belt for the bridge's expansion. Seen from afar, the bridge itself looks like an exquisite jade belt floating in the water. The bridge underwent several destructions and reconstructions in the dynasties of Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing. The present one was rebuilt in 1446 during the reign of Zhengtong of the Ming Dynasty.
The Baodai Bridge was built with strong and elegant Jinshan granite. The length between first and last arches measures 249.5 meters. The approaching embankment at the northern end measures 23.2 meters and the southern one, 43.6 meters. It is 4.1 meters wide and the average arch span is 4.6 meters. The bridge heaves from the 3rd arch until its utmost in the 15th which measures as high as 7.5 meters, resembling a huge turtle backing the clouds. Originally there was a pair of stone lions on each end, but now there is only one left at the northern end. The Baodai Bridge is also a vital communication line between the north and the south. It is seated on the Daidai River running between the Grand Canal and the Dantai Lake.
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