The Bund Shanghai is a stretch of water front land along the west banks of the Huangpu River facing Pudong consisting of 52 buildings considered to be architectural masterpieces. It is a popular destination for tourists. There are numerous places around the world called ‘Bund’ such as the Yokohama Bund in Japan, but the Bund at Shanghai is uniquely different from these not only because of its architectural importance but also due to its historical significance. It offers a fascinating sightseeing experience that lets you also learn more about this culturally rich and diverse area.
It was first the British who built their office buildings along this stretch and later it developed to house important consulates, exclusive restaurants and clubs, elegant Hotels and international Banks. In other words, it became the financial hub of China. During the 1940s, with the Cultural Revolution in China most of the old tenants left these buildings which were built in the likes of the colonizers, but in the late 1970s and 1980s, these buildings were again restored to their former use and now have returned to its former glory. Even though some of the older tenants never returned, it houses a few of the most exclusive organizations of Shanghai.
The architecture of these buildings varies from Gothic to Romanesque to the Renaissance, Baroque, Beaux-Arts, and Neo-Classical to Art Deco. These majestic buildings though no match for the high rise office buildings of Shanghai in height, stand proud and are one of the few remaining monuments that reflect the colonial era of Shanghai. The Zhongshan Road, which runs alongside the Bund, has now developed into a ten lane road accentuating its commercial significance. During the nocturnal hours when the lights are turned on, the dancing reflections of the street lights on the dark waters of the Huangpu River is a sight to behold.