The 16 city gates of Guangzhou in Qing dynasty

BY :Sophia 丝路云帆

UPDATED :November 20, 2018


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In 214 BC, generals Ren Xiao and Zhao Tuo conquered the Lingnan Region (the area south of the Five Ridges in South China) and built a city called "Pan Yu" near today's Cangbian Lu of Guangzhou. The city of Pan Yu was the initial form of Guangzhou.

2010年亚运会前在越秀公园东门复建的小北门城楼。The restored small north gate in Yuexiu Park

The city was small and stretched only to today's Cangbian Lu, Yuehua Lu, Zhongshan Road and Beijing Road. But it expanded. In Qing dynasty, it has developed into a quite big city with a inner city wall and an outer city wall, with a total of 16 gates.

The outer city wall was said to be built to better defend the city, as the inner city was exposed to the attack of insurrectionist Huang Xiaoyang in early Ming dynasty.

东濠涌博物馆绘制的清代六脉渠图,具体说明了清代广州城门、城墙和各街道的分布。 The map of old Guangzhou City in Qing dynasty, from Dong Hao Chong Museum

清代广州城中轴线 The central axis of Guanzghou city in Qing dynasty

广州博物馆展示的广州历代城廓变迁图,生动说明了广州古代城墙是如何扩展的 The expansion of Guangzhou city in history, from Guangzhou Museum

The sixteen gates of Guangzhou City in Qing dynasty are as follows:

Inner city: East Gate, West Gate, South Gate, North Gate, Gui De Gate (Kwei Tik Mun), Xiaobei Men (small north gate), Xiao Nan Men (small south gate), and Wen Ming Men (Gate).

Outer city: Xiao Dong Men (small south gate), Yong Xing Men (Gate), Yong Qing Men (Gate), Wu Xian Men (Gate), Jing Hai Men (Gate), You Lan Men (Gate), Zhu Lan Men (Gate), and Tai Ping Men (Gate).

In the 1920s, in order to expand the city and built roads, almost all of the city walls and gates were demolished. Only the site of the West Gate, the plaque of the Gui De gate, a section of the city wall and a moat were left.

唯一的城楼基址 The site of West Gate

The site of the West Gate is located nearly the Xi Men Kou station of Metro Line 1, at the intersection of Zhongshan Liu Lu and Renmin Bei Lu. It is the earliest and only remaining site of city gate in Guangzhou.

最后一块门额 The plaque of Gui De Men


After the demolition of city gates, only the plaque of Gui De Men (Gate) was left, and is now kept at the Guangzhou Museum.

最后一段城墙 Remaining city wall

明代广州的城墙 The city wall from Ming dynasty at Yuexiu Mountain

The city wall from Ming dynasty, about 1100 meters long, can be easily spotted if you go up the Yuexiu Mountain from its west gate.

The city wall used to stretch 21 kilometers. In the 1920s, this section of the wall was spared as it didn't get in the way of road construction.

最后一座城楼 The last gate tower

镇海楼 Zhen Hai Lou

Zhen Hai Lou, the old landmark of Guangzhou, was originally built on the North Gate of the city in 1380 by official Zhu Liangzu, as he extended the city wall to the Yuexiu Mountain.

As a landmark of Guangzhou, the structure stood for over 600 years, and was renovated and now houses the Guangzhou Museum.

最后护城河桥 The last moat

东壕涌 Dong Hao Chong

Dong Hao Chong was one of the moats for Guangzhou for centuries, along with Xi Hao Chong and Yu Dai Hao.

When the city wall and gates were demolished, Dong Hao Chong turned from a moat into a river across the city. It used to be an important traffic artery of the city before it was badly polluted.

In 2009, the Guangzhou government started to clean up the river and now it is a relaxing place for citizens to hang out.

Source: WeChat(丝路云帆)