The Bund is a landmark landscape in Shanghai. The buildings on the Bund along the bank of Huangpu River captivate the attentions of tourists from all over the world. When you stand on the Bund appreciating its majestic and tremendous style and feature, surely you want to know about the legends behind. Hidden behind these 100-year-old architectures are many museums and modern art galleries of various themes. And the abundant and precious collections there will tell you the past and present of both the Bund and Shanghai in a silent tone. Now, let’s travel with the memory of the Bund.
Shanghai Municipal Archives
Address: 9 Zhongshan Road (E2), Huangpu District, Shanghai.
Opening Hours: 09:00-17:00 (Mon.-Sat.)
Shanghai Municipal Archives is located on the old “French Bund” (also called “South Huangpu Tan Road”), the first road opened and built in the former French Concession in 1856. Firstly owned by “Messageries Maritimes Building”, it used to be the first modern business building on the French Bund. It was opened to the public as “Shanghai Municipal Archives” in 2004.
At the permanent exhibition “Memories of A City – Exhibition of Historic Development Archives of Shanghai in Modern Times”, you will see more than 600 pieces of archives fully presenting to you the development of the city in the past 200 years. If you are interested in checking up the old archives, you can go to the “Check-up Service Center of Archives and Profiles” on the fifth floor. Before leaving you could enjoy a coffee break at the café downstairs.
Not To Be Missed:
Archives of Shanghai World Expo: The registration report of Shanghai World Expo 2010 and the conceptual drawing of China Pavilion will bring you back to the grand event.
Live-action Model of the Bund: Built at a ratio of 1:200 based on the real architectures on the Bund, the model could reproduce the scenes and appearance of the Bund in 1940s.
Shanghai Telecom Museum
Address: 34 East Yan’an Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai.
Opening Hours: 09:30-12:00, 13:00-16:30 (Sat.-Sun.)
Today’s east section of East Yan’an Road used to be “Yang King Pang”, one of the branches of Huangpu River and also the boundary river between the British Concession and the French Concession. In 1915 the river was filled and built into a road which was named after the King of the United Kingdom Edward Ⅶ as “Avenue Edward Ⅶ”. As the earliest telecom enterprise established by foreign capitals to engage in the laying of submarine cable in China, it was built by Great Northern Telegraph Company in Denmark. It was opened to the public as “Shanghai Telecom Museum” in 2010.
Coming into the building, you will feel like walking into the telecom world of Shanghai. In the five large exhibition areas including telegraph communication, toll communication and radio communication, etc., you can see countless precious collections like the holograph of Li Hung-chang claiming the right of autonomous management for telegraph business and the earliest home-made telex in China, to name just a few of them.
Not To Be Missed:
Rotational Folder: The telephone operator must learn the formula by heart to locate the aim in tens of thousands of number entries within 20s, and the approach of number searching was still in use in 1989 since it was used in 1920s.
The Bronze Statue of Edward Swenson: The statue of the founder of Great Northern Telegraph Company in Denmark, who introduced telegraph into China, was built in as early as 1992 and later taken away. During Shanghai World Expo 2010, one of his descendants, then director of Denmark Pavilion, generously donated the statue, so that it could be erected back to place.
Shanghai Post Museum
Address: 250 North Suzhou Road, Hongkou District, Shanghai.
Opening Hours: 09:00-17:00 (Wed., Thu., Sat., Sun.)
The building was erected on the north bank of Suzhou Creek near the intersection of Suzhou Creek and Huangpu River. Besides, the area also sits between the old railway station and the downtown. Such geographical advantage is one of the reasons why the building was built here. In 1878, Customs House began its postal service, and Customs Post Office, its daily operating agency, was established in today’s Shanghai Customs House on the Bund. In 1897 Chinese Imperial Post Office was established also in the Customs House, and later relocated to today’s building. On the New Year’s Day of 2006, Shanghai Post Museum was established and opened to the public.
It is divided into four exhibition areas: in the “Origin & Development” area, precious collections from various times are exhibited, like the postal data of the ancient China and the Republic of China; in the “Network & Technology” area, you can see the largest commemorative envelop in the world and the models of post offices in the North and South poles, etc; the “Business & Culture” area is mainly themed exhibitions focusing on envelops, press and post savings; in the “Postal Stamp & Stamp Collecting” area, you will see the first stamp in the world and the first stamp in China, not to mention many stamps made of unique materials or made in unique shapes.
Not To Be Missed:
Model exhibition in the atrium on the first floor: The scene of Chinese Imperial Post Office is exhibited here, including the restored models of transport facilities used by Chinese Imperial Post Office in the old times, like mail carriages, mail vehicles and mail trains.
Large Dragons Stamps: In 1878, the first series of national stamps “Large Dragons” was issued in the pattern of a curled-up dragon, printed by the Statistical Department of Shanghai Customs, and forwarded by Tianjin to various pilot regions for distribution.
More Museums on the Bund:
Rockbund Art Museum
Address: 20 Huqiu Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai.
Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Tue.-Sun.)
The building was built in 1933 in Art Deco style, and used to be one of the earliest museums in China. As the former site of Shanghai Museum (Royal Asiatic Society), it was the institution which had the most Chinese specimens and cultural relic collections in the Far East. Today it is an artistic space, drawing close attentions of art lovers from all over the world. In addition, you could enjoy a free coffee on presentation of the ticket of the day on the sixth floor.
Address: On the interlayer of Fairmont Peace Hotel, 20 East Nanjing Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai.
Opening Hours: 10:00-19:00
A set of silverwares, an aluminum record, and a hand-written menu…each exclusive collection is telling the stories of the past 80 years, witnessing the transition from Cathay Hotel to Fairmont Peace Hotel.
History Museum of Bank of China (Shanghai)
Address: 23 Zhongshan Road (E1), Huangpu District, Shanghai.
There are many precious collections exhibited here, including early currency notes issued by foreign banks in China and the original manuscript of the design drawing of the Bank of China, providing you with a scan of the developing course of the Bank of China.
History Gallery of the Bund
Address: 475 Zhongshan Road (E1), Huangpu District, Shanghai.
Opening Hours: 09:00-16:00 (Mon.-Fri.)
Historic data like the panorama of the Bund upon opening of Shanghai as a commercial port are exhibited here. If you are interested in the overall course of changes of the Bund, it is a must-go place for you.