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A history of thousands of years
It’s often said that Shanghai’s dramatic development over the past 10 years can be seen in the Pudong New Area .
But for those interested in Shanghai thousands of years ago, they should cast their eyes on Songjiang.
Guangfulin Cultural Relics Park opened in June this year, with the excavation of the 4,500-year-old Guangfulin civilization giving the public a glimpse of urbanization of Shanghai from its very beginning.
One of the main attractions of the park was the Guangfulin Culture Exhibition Hall, a museum built under water, with only its roof above ground.
The exhibition hall takes visitors on a journey through time from the very beginning of Guangfulin culture.
Visitors to the hall’s basement can see the restored archaeological sites with copies of artefacts and wax statues of the researchers.
From caves to ancient street markets to the whistle of trains at Songjiang Railway Station built in 1907, the exhibition recreates scenes throughout Shanghai’s history.
More of the relics will go on display next year, with one museum built on an excavation site.
In Songjiang’s urban area, the recreation of Zhongshan Road old town since the 1990s has also made progress. In 2005, the district started protective development of Cangcheng scenic area for historical culture, an area in the west of the old town.
Cangcheng used to be the granary of the Shanghai area in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. More than 120 historic buildings remain in this area. Some of the buildings have been renovated as a showcase of traditional local culture.
The old state office of Songjiang Town, the predecessor of Shanghai as we know it, and Sijing watertown are also being renovated.
The district attaches great importance to public culture. There are more than 10 cultural venues in Songjiang and most are open to the public free of charge.
With the revival of the old Songjiang Town, the film industry thrived as many movies and TV dramas chose Songjiang as a location.
Cangcheng, for instance, has become a famous movie business hub with over 3,200 movie and television enterprises setting up studios here. The total tax revenue from these enterprises in the first nine months of this year exceed 1.1 billion yuan (US$144.6 million).
Chedun Town, the other town famous for the film business in the district, has recreated scenes such as Nanjing Road and residential complexes from the early 20th century. Ang Lee filmed many scenes in “Lust, Caution” in the town.
In the next five years, revolving around high-tech, ecology and culture, Songjiang District will continue reform and innovation to lead the way among suburban districts in Shanghai to become a modernized model of a rural area.