Shantang Street is seven li(one li=0.5km)long. It used to be the largest commercial street of Suzhou.

Shantang Street, an ancient riverside pedestrian road in northwest Suzhou. It is seven li(one li=0.5km)long; hence given the name“Seven-Li Shantang”.It shows the characteristics of an old city with“parallel land and water with river and street bordering on each other”Shantang Street is adjacent to Changmen Gate in the east, and reaches Tiger Hill in the west. Constructed by Bai Juyi, a famous poet of the Tang Dynasty when he served as prefectural governor of Suzhou, the Shantang River has double functions of transportation and tourism.

Shantang Street became prosperous in the Song Dynasty after many private villas and ancient bridges and architectural structures had been built. It used to be the largest commercial street of Suzhou. “Suzhou Street” built by Empress Dowager Cixi in the Summer Palace was modeled on Shantang Street. Now the renovated old street gathers a large number of time-honored shops, various types of civilian residences, guildhalls, shrines and ancient bridges, representing the exquisite scenery of Shantang and becoming an ideal leisure and recreation center with the many newly-built bars and tea houses.

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