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Bordering on the East China Sea and lying on the south bank of the Ou River, the famous city Wenzhou (Wenchow) has a long history of more than 1600 years. The original city was built based on the traditional construction principles: standing by rivers, backing on mountains and open to water traffic. Over the past century, this old "water town" has changed in its structure and size in the course of modernization. In a basin surrounded by mountains, the city was featured by lakes, crisscrossing rivers and small bridges. But now the floating boats, fragrant water lilies and riverside willows are only sweet memories.

   Though the city's ancient beauty is fading away in people's memory, the old photos can still recapture some glittering pieces of the past glory, and somehow reflect the historical changes of the city in the last unquiet hundred years. When going through the photos, you can feel the weight of time.

  There were people who used their cameras to witness the changes and made faithful records of history with their photos. Among them are the British missionary William Edward Soothill (1861-1935) and some local photographers——Shao Du and his son Shao Jiaye, Sun Shouzhuang and Fang Zhong. Wenzhou Old Photos, which is a part of the series called "Savor Wenzhou", contains a fine selection of their old photos taken in various periods. Of the 15 photos, this is the first time some of them have been shown to the public.