Friday, September 6, 2019

Shanghai, China

Shanghai上海市  is in east-central China and it is the biggest city in China.  Big as in huge!  It's home to 24,28 million people.  This one city is more than twice the population of Czechland, about the same as Australia.  More people live in Shanghai than in every U.S. state except California or Texas.   There are 27 countries in the EU (no UK due to Brexit) and only Germany, France, Italy, Spain, or Poland are bigger than this one city.

The area was originally settled around 4000 BC.  It was established as Qinglong Town in 746 AD.  It was once a small fishing village and today it is the country's biggest and most developed city and home to the world's busiest container port.  It's a major global hub for finance, transportation, technology and fashion.

The local native language here is Shanghainese which is the Wu dialect of Chinese; followed byMandarin.  I used a few words of Chinese when I could but managed to get by with either English or hand gestures.  Although in one place I got by with French.

The French Concession area dates back to the colonial period.  The area is pretty fashionable and is one of the city's best shopping and entertainment areas.  The former French Sports Club of Shanghai was built in 1924.  The club and gardens have been a part of the Okura Garden Hotel since 1989.

The Cathay Theatre was completed in 1930 and opened two years later.  It's the largest in the city and one of the few remaining art-deco cinemas.

Zhou Enlai became the PRC's first premier in 1949.  The house he lived in from 1949 until he died in 1976 became a memorial in 1979.  Today it is a free museum  worth checking out.

With there having been so many missionaries and foreign concessions it really shouldn't be a surprise to find a Catholic church in Shanghai.  Saint Peter's Catholic Church was built in 1995.  It replaced a church that was built in 1933.

Saint Joseph's Cathedral was consecrated in 1862.  In 1966 it was closed due to the Cultural Revolution but it reopened in 1986.

The Shanghai Grand Theatre opened in 1998.

The Shanghai Museum consists of 11 galleries with a collection of over 120,000 pieces.  The current building was opened in 1996.

The Camera History Museum is interesting.  Probably more so if you're a hardcore enthusiast but there are also a gallery and a cafe so it's a good spot to take a break and recharge.

The Propaganda Poster Art Centre was founded in 2012.  It's a private collection of more than 5.000 prints.  Lots of interesting Mao-era posters and communist propaganda.  It's located in the basement of an apartment building so it can be a bit tricky to find.

The Bund is the city's famous riverside avenue.  This is where to find the city's Western-style architecture from the 1920s.  Fun fact...due to the construction boom in the 1920s and 1930s, the city is home to among the most Art Deco buildings in the world.

The Bund is also the perfect place for views of the city's modern skyscrapers across the Huangpu River.

It is way more impressive at night with everything lit up.  That is when it isn't raining.

The Bund Bull was unveiled in 2010.  The bronze statue is 2300 kg (5000 lbs) and is the same size New York City's Charging Bull.

The skyscrapers lit up at night are pretty.  Not quite as impressive as in Hong Kong but still lovely.

The Oriental Pearl Radio & Television Tower was completed in 1995.  It's 468 metres (1,536 feet) tall and from 1994-2007 it was the tallest structure in China.

The Gutzlaff Signal Tower was built in 1907 in Art Deco style.  It provided weather reports five times a day until operation was discontinued in 1956.  The building was renovated in 1999 and the first floor is now a museum.

The Monument to the People's Heroes was built in 1933.  It commemorates the country's revolutionary martyrs and stands 24 metres (79 feet) tall.

Below the monument is the underground Bund History Museum which focuses on the city's colonial history.

At the People's Park there is the Memorial to the May 30th Movement where in 1925 the police fired into a crowd of people.

This resulted in a swell of support for the Communists.  The memorial was unveiled in 1990.

In the park is also a statue dedicated to the People's Liberation Army.

The Custom House was built in 1927.  It contains the largest clock in Asia.  
I know that there's more to see in Shanghai but due to the rain I was pretty much limited in what I was able to get out and see.  I think a return trip is in order.

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