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Heritage of Wisdom and Cultural Renaissance in Wuzhen
千年乌镇的智慧传承和文艺复兴

View of Wu Zhen
A historic water town in the lower Yangtze region of Jiangnan, Wuzhen is located north of Tongxiang in the province of Zhejiang in China. With the ancient Grand Canal (linking up Beijing and Hangzhou, over 1700 km apart) passing around the town, the waterways dissect the town in four sections. The East Gate and West Gate areas complement one another as a new vacation resort scenic area—Wucun, situated 500 meters from the northern edges of the West Gate area, with its back on the Grand Canal.

This town with its centuries-old history was founded thanks to its location next to the waterways. From ancient times, merchants gathered, and an upstart little town grew into a boisterous seat of government. By the second half of the twentieth century, however, urbanization continued its relentless push and the industrial base shifted; large numbers of historic residences decayed and were demolished. The water town was losing its former glory. Once the pearl of the lower Yangtze, Wuzhen had become a beauty very much past its prime.

乌镇,1300年建镇史的江南水乡古镇。地处浙江省桐乡市北部,古老的京杭大运河绕镇而过,镇区由十字形的水系划分为东栅、西栅、南栅、北栅四个区域。与东西栅景区联袂互补的新型旅游度假目的地景区——乌村位于西栅北侧500米,背倚着京杭大运河。

千年乌镇,曾因水成市,傍河成埠,自古商贾云集,遂以弹丸小镇而具烟火万家,宛然城府气象。进入二十世纪下半叶,由于城市化进程推动和产业结构调整,大批历史民居衰败和拆除,水乡风貌渐失,昔日江南明珠,却蓬首垢面,尤如迟暮美人。
Spring in WuZhen
Spring in Wuzhen  春季乌镇
Night Scene of Wu Zhen
Night Scene of Wuzhen 乌镇夜景
In 1999, the Tongxiang Municipal Party Committee and the Municipal Government decided to take on the protective development and repair work for the historic town of Wuzhen. With Chen Xianghong—then the Party Secretary for Wuzhen and Chairman of the Committee for the Protection and Tourist Development of the Historic Town of Wuzhen—at the lead, Wuzhen embarked on a decade-long process of preservation and development. Chen Xianghong’s team first completed the remaking of East Gate area, the focus of the historic architectural preservation, and then began the preservation projects for the streets and neighborhoods of West Gate, with the innovative idea of “re-using historical streets and neighborhoods”. The two regions, having completed its preservation and development work, fully manifest the historic visual appeal of an ancient water town of the lower Yangtze.

In January 2016, the Wuzhen Tourism Co. Ltd. offered the fourth part for its stunning program: Wucun opened with fanfare, and at that point, this new high-end village vacation tourist attraction, with the theme of bucolic fields and with its “leisure resort hamlets”, unveiled its mysteries, showing off its distinctive pastoral character. Wucun is wrapped in emerald waters and verdant shades, being in league with the natural ecological forest; its distinctive private rural residences and courtyards genuinely display the form and shape of ancient pastoral districts. Wucun overturns the traditional model of rural tourism in China, and employs the experiential model of the all-inclusive package—bringing together room and board, transportation, touring, shopping, and entertainment into a one-stop shop of a rural vacation resort project. With one touch of the button, accommodation, meals, and transportation can be included, along with nearly thirty free experiential items. Tourists can become a self-sufficient modern villager, and have that older sense of intimacy in village homes restored.
 
1999年,桐乡市委市政府决定对乌镇古镇进行保护性开发和整治,由时任乌镇镇党委书记、乌镇古镇保护与旅游开发管委会主任陈向宏领衔,开展了对乌镇长达十几年的保护与开发。陈向宏团队在乌镇先后完成了以历史建筑风貌保护为重点的东栅改造,并以创新性的“历史街区再利用”理念展开对西栅街区的保护工程。完成保护开发的东、西栅景区完美呈现了中国江南水乡古镇的风貌。

2016年1月,乌镇旅游股份有限公司奉献的第四道风情大餐——乌村举行开业仪式,这个以田园风光为主题,用“休闲度假村落”的方法打造的新型、高端乡村旅游度假区揭开它神秘的面纱,一展其独特的乡村风貌:乌村包裹于碧水绿荫之中,与自然生态林为伍;其独门独院的乡宅院落,将老村坊形态显露无遗。乌村颠覆了中国乡村游的传统模式,采用一价全包的套餐式体验模式——集吃、住、行、游、购、娱活动为一体的一站式的乡村休闲度假项目,一键即可打包吃住行和近30项免费体验项目,游客可以做一个自给自足的现代乡下人,也还原了以前农村里走家串户的亲切感。
North Silk Factory
North Silk Factory 北栅丝厂
The deep sedimentation of humanism in Wuzhen evinces the boundless charm of ancient Eastern civilization. 400 000 sqm of delicate Ming and Qing-dynasty architecture, nearly 20 000 sqm of criss-crossing waterways, a thousand years of history and culture passed down, delightful and humble water town sights, distinctive culinary delicacies, colorful folk festivals…the transmission of wisdom along with the literary and cultural heritage opens up in Wuzhen an enchanting historical vista, much like a historical scroll of painting. As one of the first towns in China to be recognized among the “Top Ten Historical and Cultural Towns” in the country, Wuzhen has been included for the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List and has also been awarded by the United Nations for its protection of heritage in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2010, Wuzhen Tourism was honored with the first AAAAA National Tourist Site Designation within Jiaxing.

The preservation and development of Wuzhen are not limited merely to architecture and the environment but rather strive for a cultural and artistic renaissance, with great efforts at discovering, supporting, and building up cultural projects.


乌镇深厚的人文积淀展现出东方古老文明的无穷魅力。四十多万平方米的精美明清建筑;近二万米纵横交叉的河道;传承千年的历史文化;淳朴秀美的水乡风景;风 味独特的美食佳肴;缤纷多彩的民俗节日……智慧的传承伴随脉脉书香,在乌镇展现出一幅迷人的历史画卷。作为中国首批十大历史文化名镇和中国魅力名镇,乌镇先后被列入联合国世界文化遗产保护预备清单和中国世界文化遗产预备名单重设目录,被联合国授予亚太地区遗产保护杰出成就奖。2010年,乌镇旅游荣膺嘉兴市首家国家AAAAA旅游景区称号。

乌镇的保护开发并不局限于建筑和环境,更着力于文化艺术的复兴,大力挖掘、扶持、建设文化项目。
The Muxin Art Museum
The Mu Xin Art Museum  木心美术馆
Water Theater
Water Theater 水剧场
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