Why we suggest this tour itinerary?
Every person knows that Shanghai is the most cosmopolitan city in China. But only few people know the origin and roots of Shanghai.
In this itinerary, in order to make tourists to know and learn Shanghai in 2 days only, we selected the Shanghai Song-Ze Ruins Museum dated back to 6000 years ago, Songjiang Town and Zhujiajiao Town since over 1000 years ago, the famous Yuyuan Garden and its environs, Old Shanghai City Wall and Shanghai Confucius Temple from several hundred years ago, and many elegant European style streets and neighbourhood built during the colonial period in downtown Shanghai to explore the origin and roots of the Shanghai area, to discover and get a feeling for the development of the Catholic culture and western civilization in Shanghai, enjoy the combination of the ancient cultures and modern miracles in the city.
6000 years ago, seas change into lands. The west part of Shanghai (current Qingpu, Songjiang and Jinshan Districts) gradually became suitable for human habitation. Archaeologists discovered earliest human existence right at Songz-Ze Ruins, which has been called “Origin of Shanghai”.
During the Neolithic period here (6000 – 4200 years ago), people living in and around this Region created four types of unique culture: Majiabang Culture, Song-Ze Culture, Liangzhu Culture and Guangfulin Culture. Since Majiabang culture habitants moved into the current Shanghai area, the culture development on the area had never been interrupted. The Neolithic Song-Ze Culture which is at the current Songze Village in Qingpu District is the starting point for the development of both the ancient and the modern civilization in Shanghai area.
Songjiang was formerly known as Huating County in Tang Dynasty around 1400 years ago and was part of Jiangsu province. As the cultural root of Shanghai, Songjiang and Qingpu Area preserve brilliant and unique prehistoric, ancient and modern cultural significant features.
Tourists will visit The Shanghai Song-Ze Ruins Museum which was built on a Neolithic Age village site around 6000 years ago – the earliest village being discovered in Shanghai to know the early development of human culture and find many “1st” in Shanghai: The 1st Man, The 1st Rice, The 1st Well, The 1st Village… “Song-Ze Culture” was named as one of the most representative prehistoric culture of China.
Located on the west outskirts of Great Shanghai, the current Songjiang Town is the urban center of Songjiang District which is one of the earliest land in Shanghai. Shanghai County was under Songjiang Prefecture when it was set up in 1292 by the side of Huangpu River in the current downtown Shanghai.
In Songjiang Town, tourists will visit Fangta Park (Fangta means Square Pagoda) which is located on the site of the former commercial center of Shanghai area during both the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and Song Dynasty (960-1279). You can find many precious ancient buildings and antiques in this Park. At this town, tourists will also visit a famous ancient classical Chinese garden, an ancient Mosque and well pretested old zone with tranquil rivers and bridges.
The well protected picturesque Zhujiajiao Town by the side of Dianshan Lake is the most famous water town in Shanghai. In fact, the current downtown Shanghai area was also a water town and many fishing villages around 170 years ago which are quite like the current Zhujiajiao Town. We can know what the old Shanghai likes in this town.
In the center of current downtown Shanghai, set up in 1292, the old Shanghai County Town is laid by the side of Huangpu River, just to the south and east of former French Concession. Here we selected Yuyuan Garden, Yuyuan Bazaar, Confucius Temple and old city wall (only 50m long survived now). All of them were built hundreds years ago and represent the old Shanghai culture.
Xujiahui (Zi-ka-wei), as many of you know, is a busy commercial district in downtown Shanghai now. It is also the origin of the Catholic culture in Shanghai, and even called Oriental Vatican. Around 400 years ago, baptized by famed Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci, Xu Guangqi (1562-1633, Ming Dynasty), the vise prime minister of China, the first person in the culture exchange between China and the West, the earliest founder of this area and probably the Chinas most notable Catholic convert, built his farm in this area and was also buried here after he died. He was born in downtown Shanghai at that time (around 4km to the east of Xujaihui) and devoted his life to mathematics, astronomy, calendar, water conservancy and so on. It is because Xu’s descendants stayed in this area where is the junction of 2 rivers, hence the name of this area is Xu jia Hui – Jia means family, Hui means junction. Now the Tomb of Xu Gaungqi here is the Key Historical Site under the State Protection.. Most of what is now Xujiahui was once the property of Xu’s family. Xu Gaungqi and his descendants donated large plots of land to the Catholic Church, including the Site of the current St. Ignatius Cathedral.
Around 400 years ago, many Jesuits come here from overseas and take here as the base to spread west culture in China. Then it was stopped because of the dynasties subrogation. Jesuit missionaries from France come here again in 1842 after the Opium War. With land donated by Xu Guangqis family and those acquired by other means, the Society of Jesus (closely associated with the French authorities of the French Concession) established a grand cathedral as well as an entire one square mile complex that covers most of present-day Xujiahui. In addition to the cathedral, the French Jesuits also built orphanages, monasteries, schools, libraries and the Xujiahui Observatory (now the Shanghai Bureau of Meteorology).
The Tou Se We Museum (originally The Tou-Se-We Orphanage) was operated by the Catholic Church, whose workshops supplied much of the religious art on Xujiahuis religious buildings and even exported traditional Chinese art works to western countries, it was the cradle of Western painting and origin of Shanghai School Art in modern times. It was a door to the world and the vanguard of the whole China.
The former French Concession, also known as French Town, is the highlight for many tourists to Shanghai. The French Concession existed in Shanghai from 6 April 1849 until 1946, reputedly the worlds largest French Concession. Now pleasant tree-lined streets, long and complicated alleyways and many fine old houses in the area (Most historic buildings have a bronze plaque that details their original use.) still retain an air of the "Paris of the East", delivering much of what this fabled city promises.
It is a famous fashionable area in China and a fantastic place for spending leisure time. Now its also become the citys hottest and hippest neighborhood, where a lot of celebrities ornate old villas have been renovated and opened for visitors, many old houses, even whole neighbourhoods have been renovated and reimagined, converted to cafes, restaurants, boutiques and galleries. Trendy bars and clubs multiply like mushrooms after a rainstorm. Get away from the busy streets, you can spend hours wandering in the sylvan streets and narrow alleyways, passing tudor houses nestled in beautiful gardens, resting in a cafe or dining in a restaurant, enjoy the boutiques or browsing through the endless art galleries and photographic studios. This Guided Walk Tour would bring you the special charming form of the French Concession, for sure it is an absolutely unique urban experience.
Located in the former International Settlement, The Bund is a must for tourists who visit Shanghai. It is the showcase of the city’s semi-colonial past and its transformation in the new era. It is said that it would not be complete for the tour in Shanghai if the tourist did not visit the Bund.
Main Tourist Attractions in the Itinerary:
Ancient classical Zuibaichi Garden, Fangta Park (means Square Pagoda Park, including Square Pagoda, Site of Songjiang County Town in Tang & Song Dynasty, Stone Base of Columns of the Old Tang Dynasty Temple, Ancient Heaven Princess Palace, Screen Wall, The Site of Old City God Temple of Songjiang Town, Lanrui Hall (Mr. Zhu Shuishui Commemorative Museum), 5 Old Men Peaks, Mr. Chen Huacheng Commemorative Museum, Wangxian Bridge built in Song Dynasty (around 1000 years ago)), Songjiang Town Mosque, out view of Yuanying Pagoda built in Song Dynasty (around 1000 years ago), Cangcheng History & Culture Area including the giant Dacang Bridge.
The Shanghai Song-Ze Ruins Museum – built on the Neolithic Age village site with many “1st” in Shanghai: The 1st Man, The 1st Rice, The 1st Well, The 1st Village….
Ancient Zhujiajiao Town:
City God Temple, Fangsheng Bridge (Setting-fish-free Bridge) and Many ancient bridges, North Street, Kezhi Garden.
Xujiahui Catholic Area, include the visit to Tou Se We Museum (old Tou-Se-We Orphanage), The Memorial Hall and Tomb of Xu Gaungqi, Xujiahui Cathedral (St. Ignatius Cathedral), Xujiahui Bibliotheca, out view of former Site of Xujiahui Observatory and Former Site of Virgin Mary Convent,
Former French Concession, includes Wukang Road (old name Route Ferguson after Mr. John Calvin Ferguson, an American Missionary and 1st official president of Nanyang College (the former Jiaotong University)), Middle Huaihai Road (Avenue Joffre), The former residence of Bajin, Shanghai arts and Crafts Museum (the former Official Residence of the President of the Municipal Council of French Concession).
Old Shanghai County Town Area, includes Shanghai Confucius Temple, Temple of Lord Guan on the old Shanghai City Wall (he is the God of War and also the God of Wealth), Taoist Baiyuan Temple, Yuyuan Garden, Yuyuan Bazaar.
Experience in the Itinerary:
* Visit the Museum built on the site of a Neolithic village, to marvel at the brilliant achievement of this representative prehistoric culture in China around 6000 years ago.
* Walk on the Site of city center in old Shanghai area in Tang & Song Dynasty (over 1000 years ago) and enjoy a classical garden and many ancient buildings.
* Indulge yourself in the soft rhythm in a serene and peaceful water town with over 1000 years history.
* Get into the heart of the former Catholic culture area to discover the origin of the West Culture in Shanghai and explore the origin of Shanghai School Art, to know the story of the founder of the culture exchange between China and the West.
* Walk in the former French Concession area to appreciate the heart beaten beauty of its elegance and charm.
* Visit some famed ancient attractions inside the Old Shanghai Town in downtown Shanghai.
* Enjoy the imposing scenery at the Bund.