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Architecture of Marco Polo Bridge

Marco Polo Index | History | Architecture
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The marble bridge has eleven arches, and measures 266.5 meters long and 7.5 meters wide. Most fascinating is that every baluster is carved on top with a lion in different shape and expression. According to the survey in 1961 by the Beijing Cultural Relics Administration, there were 486 lions of various size in total: 281 bigger lions on top of the balusters plus 198 smaller lions on their bodies, apart from the two lions balancing on their heads the balustrades at the Bridge eastern end, 4 lions atop each of the four sculptured marble columns standing at the Bridge's heads, and one lion discovered later in the sand under the Bridge . However, another survey conducted in 1983 resulted in the total number being 498. For the exact number of lions, please try to count yourself.

At the extremes of the bridge there are two stone stelae, one recording the history of the renovation work carried out in the reign of Emperor Kangxi (1662-1722), and the other bearing the inscription "The Moon over the Lugou Bridge at Dawn" in the handwriting of Emperor Qianlong.

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