Wuzhen has been called one of China’s ten most important historic and cultural towns and one of China’s most charming old towns. Located on a fertile plain in northern Zhejiang Province, Wuzhen conveniently lies at the crossroads of Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Suzhou.
Wuzhen has been home to civilization for more than 7,000 years, and the town was established more than 1,300 years ago. The city branch of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal and the Chexi River run through the town. Wuzhen was divided into four districts, based on the cardinal directions. After the town was built, Wuzhen’s name and location have never changed, and people’s lives have not changed. The water sets off the stone bridges, grand mansions, street arches, pleasant verandas, riverside pavilions, embankment stairs, and other architectural elements, which have been preserved to this day.
Wuzhen has been called “China’s last water town.” After Wuzhen opened in 2001, it was listed the preparatory list of World Heritage Sites. In 2007, Wuzhen was selected for the preparatory list of World Heritage Sites in China. In 2009, the area won the Ecological Tourism Gold Medal given by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). Wuzhen is currently a National AAAAA Scenic Area.
The protection of Wuzhen required a blend of culture and life that constitutes a unique style. From the formal opening of the East Scenic District in 2001 to the opening of the West Scenic District in 2007, the Wuzhen model was established, expanding the protected area and the scope of the protection. This shifted the protection and development concept from “restoring the town to its former glory” to “reusing historical streets,” and as such, the town is a model for cultural preservation in China.
Due to Wuzhen’s intense cultural atmosphere and unique natural landscapes, as well as its complete array of visitor facilities, it is no surprise that Wuzhen has been favored by visitors from the worlds of international art and culture. Wuzhen is a dream, a pure land far from the noise of the city.
With multiple editions of the Wuzhen Theater Festival and the launch of the Mu Xin Art Museum, the Wuzhen International Contemporary Art Exhibition will attract even more people who love Wuzhen and art to this cultural haven. The town has become an economic, political, social, and cultural gathering place. Wuzhen is a noted destination for vacation and relaxation, and a wonderful place for the discussion and sharing of art.
For its information infrastructure, unique traditional culture, convenient transportation, and overall efficiency, Wuzhen has fully deserved to become the permanent host of the World Internet Conference. The three-day Second World Internet Conference in 2015 brought together eight foreign leaders, twenty representatives of international organizations, fifty minister-level foreign officials, and more than 2,000 VIP guests from 120 countries. General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping attended the event and gave an address. This event is the largest-scale and highest-level internet conference in China, and it is a grand occasion in the global internet field.
The integration of modern internet technology into this thousand year-old village represents the most advanced products of world civilization and Chinese culture.
For more information on Wuzhen, please visit the Wuzhen Tourism website: http://www.wuzhen.com.cn