May 11, 2012

Hopsan (Iron) Bridge in Kaiping

Hopsan (Iron) Bridge, located at the border between Bahop and Hinkong townships in Kaiping, was built in 1934.

Kaiping, 2011

Several years earlier, Wong Le Yung, a Kaiping student studying in Japan, started a fund raising campaign to build this bridge. By 1934, he raised 16,200 silver dollars. With a local design, they bought steel from Germany to build this iron truss bridge without pillar supports, a great architectural achievement here at the time.

The length of the bridge is 67 meters and the width 9.5 meters.


Stories were told that the Japanese tried to bomb the bridge to stop the movements of the anti-Japanese guerillas during the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), but their planes failed to find the bridge.

I am not clear whether the locks were built at the same tme, but my guess would be that they were a more recent addition.


A plaque on this tower says that the local government declared the Hopsan Bridge a heritage site in 1983. This is my contribution to Sunday Bridges.


The view from the bridge overlooks some run-down factory buildings I'd guess to be from the 1960s, except for that brand new blue roof. With the soft light of the setting sun, it gave me my shot for Weekend Reflections.

25 comments:

Nefertiti said...

architecture tres interressante !

bon w end ;o)

TexWisGirl said...

very nice. i like the spiral stair shot best!

FlowerLady said...

What a neat bridge with an interesting story. I love the tower.

Your reflection photo is wonderful too.

Have a lovely weekend ~ FlowerLady

Sylvia K said...

What great shots for the day, Cisca!! Wonderful old bridge and spiral staircase. I always enjoy reading about the history! Hope you have a great weekend! Enjoy!

Sylvia

Sallie (FullTime-Life.com said...

Great shots for both memes -- its a wonderful old bridge with a very interesting history.

Julie Storry said...

This is a heartening tale of individual determination, Franisca. And the politial times can not have been easy. I am trying to work out in my head where 'China' was in the 1930s. Was it the time of Sun-yat-sen? And the long march was in 1949?

I am pleased it has made the heritage list.

Is that your beloved in the second last photo?

Pat said...

I really like that spiral staircase and the blue roof reflection. It really stands out!

Traveling Hawk said...

The bridge looks good even today. I guess it was a big achievement in those days. Nice reflection in the last shot.

Mama Zen said...

Lovely shots!

Francisca said...

Julie, the 1930s in southern China was a time of political mayhem. The official ruler of all of China then was the Guomindang (spelled Kuomintang in Taipei, where it still rules), but in fact they had little control over the various warlords in the south. Sun Yatsen was co-founder of this party that ruled from 1912 until 1949 when the Communists prevailed (after the Long March also in the 30s, yes). Although Sun was the Father of the Nation and the first president of post-Qing Dynasty, he quickly lost hold of power and died in 1924. The 30s saw many civil battles among warlords and between the Communists and national government, as well as the start of the Sino-Japanese War. Most people in all of China were dirt poor.

In the tower photo is our close friend, a native of Kaiping now Canadian I've known since '85, who brought me here because he knew my interest in shooting bridges. :-)

Oakland Daily Photo said...

The blue roof gives a focus to your reflection, but the rest of the shoreline casts a reflection of calm and quiet. The tower looks like it participates in the long tradition of fortifications. But what does it guard? Sadly, another part of China I know nothing about.

Francisca said...

Carolyn of ODP, you are right about the tradition of fortifications. Kaiping is a World Heritage Site because of its watch towers (I can't believe I haven't posted on this topic yet!). This one is not very impressive compared to 1000s built in this county mostly in 1930s to protect villagers against the marauders sent by the warlords (read my comment above to Julie). I'd guess this tower was meant to guard the bridge.

HansHB said...

A good serie, - and great reflections in your last photo!

Linda said...

Very interesting history of the bridge! Love that reflection shot!

Monica said...

Wonderful post, and beautiful reflections in the last shot!
:)

Dianne said...

the iron work across the top is beautiful as is the windy staircase
lovely series of photos

FrankandMary said...

The tower has me thinking: Let down your golden hair...

Vicki/Jake said...

Great wall and reflection shots Cisca, as usual:) How interesting that the planes couldn't see it.

Stay Safe xox

Linnea said...

What an interesting bridge and history! Love all the greenery surrounding it...

VioletSky said...

as with many others, I really like the spiral stairs. that blue roof is a major distractions and should be painted a more subtle colour.

Genie said...

What a grand series this today. I like the spiral staircase, too, but the tower has to be my favorite. Nice bridge...Like the metal pieces going across the top. Hope you are well. We are inundated with muck and mire from 24 hours of heave rain. And we are to get more this afternoon and tonight. Lots of flooding. School was an hours late, and now they are letting us out an hour early. Does not sound too good! genie

Pat Tillett said...

I LOVE these photos and the subject.
That is a lot of clunky looking iron made into something beautiful (in my eyes). I REALLY like the photo of the spiral staircase. You are good!

JM said...

Great shots, Francisca! I especially like the staircase.

Likey said...

The Hopsan bridge was the last remaining structure in KP due to the Japanese invasion. Its consider a treasure back in the 1930s to build such bridge in China with limited resources and funds.

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