Re-born from the Flames

That's China - - The Seascape -

The street was en­gulfed in a fire caused by a mis­placed oil lamp in a tofu shop dur­ing the Spring Fes­ti­val of 1891. More than 3,000 houses were de­stroyed, leav­ing tens of thou­sands of peo­ple home­less and one-third of the city’s pop­u­la­tion strug­gling with a se­ri­ous lack of life sus­te­nance. All pic­tures hand-drawn by Shi Lin ( 石林)

【定海道头】 Ding­hai Dao­tou

It func­tioned as a port of call for Ja­panese en­voys in the Tang Dy­nasty and played an im­por­tant role in China’s busi­ness com­mu­ni­ca­tion with to­day’s South Korea dur­ing the Song times.Thus, it used to be a key stop in the an­cient ‘silk road on the sea’. In the first years of the Repub­li­can times, it was a water trans­porta­tion hub, with its busiest zone sited in to­day’s Port Ad­min­is­tra­tion Af­fairs Head­quar­ters.The bustling sight of the an­cient ‘Dao­tou’ area is be­yond the imag­i­na­tion of to­day’s Ding­hai peo­ple.

【砚池】 Ink­stone Pool

First built in theYuan Dy­nasty and re­built in 1830 in the Qing Dy­nasty, the rec­tan­gle pool mea­sur­ing 15.8-meter-long and 14.5-meter-wide serves as a beau­ti­ful, cul­tural site that adds ra­di­ance to the ar­chi­tec­tural beauty of the nearby Kuix­ing Pavil­ion and the Wenbi Pagoda.

The Hall for For­eign­ers

Zhang Shengyi, su­per­in­ten­dent of the Ding­hai branch of Ningbo Cus­toms or­dered the con­struc­tion of nine western-style build­ings in 1698, the 37th year of Em­peror Kangxi of the Qing Dy­nasty.The build­ings were used as a cus­tom­house as well as an ac­com­mo­da­tion site serv­ing for­eign sailors, who were nick­named the “red-haired” in old times of China. The build­ings were aban­doned af­ter Em­peror Qian­long or­dered a ban on mar­itime trade in 1756.

The Cus­tom­house Xu Lianghong Rice Shop

A Qing-style civil­ian dwelling orig­i­nally sited in to­day’s Shunyu Lane in down­town Ding­hai.The sprawl­ing com­plex is di­vided by two court­yards into three parts in­clud­ing a lovely liv­ing quar­ter by a river. On a re-stock­ing day, the fam­ily’s pri­vate wharf would be packed with deal­ers com­ing in on boats fully loaded with rice.

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