Suzhou Water City Gate (Pan Gate)- China

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Water City Gate (Pan Gate)

The Water City Gate has an ancient name "Pan Gate". It is in Suzhou, a city of Jiangsu Province.

It is one of the eight gates of Suzhou built by Wu Zixu, the general of Wu State of Warring States Period (403 ~ 222B.C.). Because of its special defense position and usage, its was renamed to "the Water City Gate".

In Song Dynasty (960 ~ 1279A.D.), a fort was built on the Water City Gate promises, but was destroyed during a war in early Yuan Dynasty (1277 ~ 1367A.D.). In 1351, the fort was rebuilt, five years later; the Emperor of Wu State Zhang Shicheng built another fort along the wall of the Water City Gate.

The structure was continuous protected and repaired during Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties so that it is the best protected ancient relic in Suzhou.

The defense system of the Water City Gate includes two parts, the water arrangement, and the land arrangement. The land portion has two gates come with barriers, so the enemy would end up trap at the gate if they try to come close to the fort. To the north, there are main road for transporting foods and weapons.

The water defense arrangement is to the south of the land defense arrangement, it also has two gates with barriers which can intercept the enemies' boats. There are hide ways between the water and land arrangements, which would lead you up to the Water City Gate.

The constructions of the Water City Gate tell us that more than one thousand years ago; the defense constructions of China had already reached a high level.

In order to preserve the ancient wall, the local government of Suzhou rebuilt the land arrangement part in 1976, and the water arrangement part in 1983. The construction repaired the parapet walls, the mounds along the city and the paths lead to the top of the wall; the north wall was also rebuilt.

In 1986, a two floors terrace was build at the area of the land arrangement. The terrace makes the Water City Gate (Pan Gate) more beautiful and become a famous scenic spot.