Zhan Qiao pier is at the southern shore of Qingdao off Zhongshan Road. This now 440 meter (1,443.6 ft) long strip stretches into the sea and was the first wharf at Qingdao. An octagonal pavilion called the Billowing Back and Forth Tower (huilan ge), loosely translated, stands at the end of the pier and was constructed in 1930. The pier itself was started in 1891 and frequently enlarged. Zhan Qiao Pier is viewed in the eyes of many as the official symbol of Qingdao as it was made famous by being placed on the label of the Tsingtao Brewery beer bottles and the front of cans.
Also in the vicinity of Zhan Qiao Pier is the small Qingdao Island (Xiao Qingdao), the Qingdao Navy Museum, and many neighborhoods featuring German colonial architecture. The coastline lights up at night with spotlights on nearby buildings and several neon billboards.
Features of Zhan Bridge
Zhan Bridge, also known as Qianhai Zhan Bridge, Nanhai Zhan Bridge and Grand Pier, is the icon of Qingdao City. It is located in the southern coast of Qingdao City, starting from the southern end of Zhongshan Road and stretching into the broad sea in the end. Zhan Bridge was originally established in 1892 with a width of 10 meters and a length of 200 meters and became the earliest military pier in Qingdao City. Then the bridge was turned to be a freight pier after being invaded by Germany. Later in 1901, it was expanded from several aspects: iron rail was replaced by iron chain rail; the whole bridge lengthened to 350 meters; the road paved with railway rail; etc. Around 1905, Qingdao Harbor was the major place for commodity transport and Zhan Bridge served as an exclusive port for quarantining and piloting ships into Qingdao harbor.
The local government improved the bridge with an investment of CNY 258,000 from September, 1931 to April, 1933. Partial steel and wood structure of the original bridge was replaced by reinforced concrete and the whole road was covered with cement. The length was expanded to 440 meters and the bridge was heightened another 0.5 meter. A half-round shape sea wall was built up on the south. What¡¯s more, a two-storey octagonal pavilion with typical ethnic architectural style was founded here, which is named Huilan Pavilion and enjoys great fame. Stretching above the shoal of the sea, Zhan Bridge of Qingdao City looks like a dragon sleeping comfortable and peacefully. Soft waves blow the bridge, hundreds of seagulls screech here and there, and stunning sunrise and sunset emerge in the boundless blue sea. It is a paradise for human beings and creatures. As time goes by, the place is gradually viewed as one of the major landmarks of Qingdao City and also a great scenic spot to explore in China.
Being of the same age as Qingdao City, Zhan Bridge suffered the humiliating time and witnessed the construction and fast development of it as well. Qingdao was founded in 1891 in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). For better transporting military supplies, the Qing government started to build up the bridge in 1892. The Zhan Bridge was designed by Chinese engineer and stands for the wisdom of Chinese nation. As the earliest port in Qingdao city and the only sea route for supplying munitions, it played an extremely important role. In 1897, in the name of military maneuver, Germany landed on the Qingdao bay from Zhan Bridge and took possession of the Qingdao city by violence. Its function was shifted to be a tourist attraction since 1904. During the First World War, Qingdao City was invaded and occupied again by Japan. Landing on Laoshan Yangkou and then having the parade in Zhan Bridge, Japan declared their full sovereignty in Qingdao City. The city was not taken back by the Beiyang Government of China until 1922. The coastal zone of Qingdao City including Zhan Bridge was inscribed as the first batch of AAAA grade scenic area by the National Tourism Administration in 2001.
Huilan Pavilion was built up on the Zhan Bridge. The three Chinese characters Hui Lan Ge (Huilan Pavilion) on the plaque was written by Shen Honglie, the former mayor of Qingdao city. Then it was robbed by Japan and exhibited in the army museum in Tokyo in order to show off their achievements during the war of invading China. The words on the new plaque now are from the famous calligrapher-Shutong. Huilan Pavilion is a two-storey octagonal pavilion and its roof is covered by colorful glazed tile. 24 red-painted pillars support the pavilion and 34 spiral ladders in the middle help people reach upstairs for a better view. The blue sea stretches on all sides as far as eyes can see when visitors look out from the pavilion. People can get down at the Huilan Pavilion for relaxing and entertaining. In 1936, ten famous good sceneries in Qingdao City were selected and Huilan Pavilion located in Zhan Bridge was chose as the best one among these ten spots.
After invading the Qingdao City, Germany made a road from south to north in order to offer a convenient route to build the deepwater pier on seaside in 1899. This road is the original form of Zhongshan Road, which was renamed after Dr. Sun Zhongshan (1866-1925, also known as Sun Yet-sen in Cantonese) in 1929 in memory of this foremost pioneer of Chinese democratic revolution. Today, it has become a commercial street stretching for 1300 meters with 63 buildings and over 160 stores. Connecting with Zhan Bridge, the road makes a fantastic mixture of natural sea beauty and commerce. Parkson Mall, the highest building opened in September of 1998 in the road, is one of the first batch of 18 joint venture retail enterprises with the approval of the State Council of China. With the total investment of CNY 0.78 billion by the First Department Store of Qingdao City and Golden Lion Corporation from Malaysia, it gained the fame of the Best Commercial Building in Shangdong Province at the time.
How to get Zhan Bridge
Take bus No.2, 5, 6, 8, 25, 26, 218, 220, 223, 225, 301, 304, 305, 307, 311, 316, 320, 321, 501, 217, and 801 to get there.