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Tianzi Wharf in Guangzhou

BY :Zhou

UPDATED :March 22, 2019

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广州第一码头,果然有来历! Tianzi Wharf in Guangzhou

天字码头 Tianzi Wharf

Tianzi Wharf, located at the point where Beijng Lu meets the Pearl River, serves as an embarkation point for Pearl River night cruises now.

广州第一码头,果然有来历! Tianzi Wharf in Guangzhou

Legend has it that Tianzi Wharf was first built by a fisherman called Li Shouxiang during Ming dyansty. The Wharf was given the name “天(Tian, the first Chinese character in the bookThousand Character Classic, meaning heaven)” because it was the largest of its kind in Guangzhou at that time.

广州第一码头,果然有来历! Tianzi Wharf in Guangzhou

The Wharf was built in the open area of the Pearl river, which was close to the downtwon area of Guangzhou, and it served as a major traffic hub in Guangzhou at that time. Many ships loaded with cargos berthed there.

广州第一码头,果然有来历! Tianzi Wharf in Guangzhou

But the Wharf lost its traffic function as the river silted up. Tianzi Pier, which we have today, was built in replacement of the Tianzi Wharf during the reign of Emperor Yongzheng in Qing dyansty.

It kept the name 'Tianzi' because the Wharf was only used by officers and the notable. In ancient China, the Chinese character Tian was not allowed to be used by people except the imperial family.广州第一码头,果然有来历! Tianzi Wharf in Guangzhou

As the north bank of the Pearl river moved southward, the Tianzi Pier also moved to the south.

During the reign of Yongzheng, it sat near today’s Beijing Lu, and it moved to Yanjiangxi Lu in late Qing dynasty. In the early period of the Republic of China, the Pier was relocated to Yanjiangzhong Lu. After being rebuilt and repaired for a few times, the Pier became what it looks like now.

广州第一码头,果然有来历! Tianzi Wharf in Guangzhou
广州第一码头,果然有来历! Tianzi Wharf in Guangzhou

After the Treaty of Nanking was signed in 1842, China opened five of its ports to foreign trade, and Guangzhou was among the five.

In order to meet the needs of economic development, Tianzi Pier was expanded and became the largest and most important shipping center along the Pearl River.

广州第一码头,果然有来历! Tianzi Wharf in Guangzhou

As a prosperous port city along the ancient Maritime Silk Road, Guangzhou boasted many ancient wharfs. But only the Tianzi Pier remains, witnessing the development of Guangzhou city.

Source: WeChat(丝路云帆)

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