Li Li, who softly speak its name, can be remind of great beauty.
There used to be a lot of beautiful names of Lili, such as Lichuan, Lihuali and Xihu, each of which is melodious. Perhaps only such a beautiful name can match the Jiangnan scenery here.
Like many ancient towns in Jiangnan region, there is waterside view of small bridges and flowing streams. However, the difference is that Lili, the Jiangnan Water Village Pearl, is simple and elegant. There are a lot of ancient towns in the Jiangnan region, but none of them are as peaceful as the town of Lili. There still retain the original scenery of the ancient town of the waterside town.
In the history, Lili is a typical commercial town in the Jiangnan Region. It has been 891 years old since the Southern Song Dynasty (until 2018). In the Tang Dynasty, Lili was a small village and then became two villages of considerable size in the Northern Song Dynasty. In 1127, the Zhao Song Dynasty moved to the south, Lili population surged and it became a market. During the years between Ming Dynasty hosted by Chenghua and Hongzhi, it became the giant town of Wujiang. People of quality and notable families came and settled here from Zhejiang, Anhui, Hubei, Henan and other provinces. In the middle of the Qing Dynasty, the eight major families of Zhou, Chen, Li, Yi, Yi, Lu, Xu, Cai were determined.
In order to show their richness, big families must have a whole lane, generally called a certain lane. In Lili, the lanes with surnames account for half of the total number of lanes in the town. Six or seven hundred years has passed, and the town has preserved 115 alleys, including 90 secret lanes, 11 longer than a hundred meter. There are two consist of both secret lane and bright lane and two consist of two secret lanes. There also have lash lane and three-in-one-style lane. Lili is the specialist one among ancient towns in Jiangnan region.
Lili, a place with stories. An lane, an ancient well, a mile, a porch, and a pillar are all quietly telling the story of what happened here over the centuries. There are bridges and wells in the Song Dynasty, the Lingxing Gate in the Yuan Dynasty, the Hongshoutang and Jinshidi in the Ming Dynasty. The most ancient buildings are built in the Qing Dynasty. There are ancestral hall named Zhougongfu ancestral hall, a famous garden named Duanben Garden, a library building, a famous hall named Li Hall, a memorial hall called Dongsheng Hall. There are also Chinese-and-Westerns style buildings, such as Yangjingbang Catholic Church and Shi’s villa.
In addition to the ancient buildings with arches and the carved beams, the porch, the ancient bridge and the cable boat of the water town all condense the wisdom of the Lili people. There is a saying goes that the corridor is covered with three corners, no need to pad the towel. Strolling under the porch of the old street, you do not need the umbrella in sunny days and you shoes will not be wet. The shadows of the houses alongside the river can be seen on the surface of the water, and the ancient bridge across the city river has become a wonderful scenery of the ancient town. The ancient bridges like Jindeng Bridge, Daonan Bridge, Tiyun Bridge, Yingxiang Bridg connect the ancient town of Lili into a whole.
The clear and straight Sanli River is the slender and charming waistline of Lili. Due to the connection with the Taipu River, the city river was an important waterway for Lili. In order to meet the need of berthing, the Lili people set up different stones for berthing at the riverside which have various patterns that represent auspicious, bat, fairy peach, bergamot gourd, fan, pomegranate, etc., and all of the patterns are vivid.
The ancient city river flows, nurturing the spirit of the people in waterside town. Lili gathered numerous talented people and famous heroes. For example, in the ancient time, Zhou Yuanli, the minster of Ministry of Industry, Weiruxian, the famous number one scholar, Xu Dayuan, the assistant minster of Hanlinyuan, Zhangyao, the patriotic general, and in the modern era, Liu Yazi, the patriotic bachelor, Yin Mingzhu, the famous movie queen, Zhang Yingchun, the revolutionary martyrs, Ni Zhengyu, the international judge and so on. The sage culture inspires generations of Lili people to constantly move forward.
Which is unforgettable in Lili are foods that unremarkable but amazing. For example, spicy chicken feet, wine-baked cakes, malt cakes, sugar, bubble little wonton, tiger beans. One can understand Lili deeply after eating these foods one by one. This kind of taste is wrapped in the unique life of the Jiangnan people, and it becomes delicious.
Come to Lili, slow down and experience the feeling of time flies, and feel the quietness and gloom of it, then that means you really have been to Lili!