The Língqú 灵渠 Magic Transport Canal has a history that goes back more than 2,200 years. It was ordered constructed by the Chin leader who came to call himself Shi Huangdi, China’s first emperor, the unifying dynasty that gave China its name. The canal was built to supply troops sent from the Yangtze River basin into the huge Pearl River drainage to the south, critical to the Emperor’s plan to bring the various peoples of the region under a single government, his government. He went on to establish uniform systems of weights, measures, language, and tax payments, but the essential point is that the construction of the Língqú 灵渠 Magic Transport Canal was critical to the creation of China more than 2,200 years ago.
Xing'an Xian, Guilin Shi, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China
In 1998, the People's Republic of China issued three postage stamps honoring the Língqú 灵渠 Magic Transport Canal:
STAMP 1 shows the spade snout dividing the waters of the Xiang River flowing from above, with excess waters flowing over the low dams and down into the riverbed. Canal boats head in both directions, to the left [ to and from the Bei qu canal ] and to the right [ to and from the Lingqu 灵渠 Magic Transport Canal ]. The town of Xing'an is on the right and downstream.
Stamp 2 shows the Lingqu 灵渠 Magic Transport Canal winding past the First Balancing Weir, with excess water moving over the weir to the left, back into the Xiang River, leaving canal waters flowing on through the town of Xing'an, the present-day Water Street commercial area. Passing the weir was a memorable experience for many passengers.
Stamp 3 shows an early Lingqu 灵渠 Magic Transport Canal lock, a type of flash lock with a temporary blockade of the canal using timber braces [ placed in masonry slots ] with reed or bamboo mats. When the diagonal timber was released, the blockade collapsed, and the surge of water carried the barge riding through and on downstream.
On the west side of the town of Xing’an, along the main highway between Xing’an and Guilin, near the location where what remains of the Língqú 灵渠 Magic Transport Canal flows under the highway, is a memorial to the builders of the Língqú 灵渠 Magic Transport Canal.
In the memorial, a series of sculpted super-sized human laborers and supervisors, one figure stands supreme: the Emperor, China’s First Emperor, Shi Hwangdi, the Emperor for whose tribe, the Chin, all of China is named.
Un-appreciated is the fact that this canal, the Lingqu 灵渠 Magic Transport Canal, was crucial to the creation of the unified China—Shi Hwangdi built the canal to transport and supply troops sent to conquer tribes to the south, thus accomplishing the unification.
Lingqu Scenic Site
(The National Park)
Xing'an Water Street
Neglected Condition, 2013
This website created and maintained by Jim Stembridge of Salem, Oregon, USA and Peiru Xu of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China. Website established in 2014; revised 2022. Photographs and descriptions are free to use for any purpose with credit to "LINGQU 灵渠 MAGIC TRANSPORT CANAL.com". We welcome comments and questions. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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