September 11th, 2018


City walls: Lucca vs. Shanghai

I am now staying in Lucca that has its city wall still preserved. This wall compares to the extinct wall around Shanghai in many respects:
- same years of construction (1545 for Lucca; 1553 for Shanghai);
- same length (~4km);
- similar height (Shanghai's was 8–10 meters high; Lucca's is around 12 meters);
- same shape and the principle of construction: an earthen rampart, slopey on the inside, steep on the outside; faced with brick on the outside;
- big arched gates for water (now cars) and smaller doors for people;
- rounded bulwarks around the gates;
- a defence moat, still filled with water in some places.

Here are the maps of Lucca and the old town of Shanghai, brought to the same scale:

I haven't taken a walk around the city along the top of the wall, but I will at some point. This walk was possible in Shanghai back in the day as well. And to think that you have to travel to Tuscany to know a little more about Shanghai!

Lucca, 2018:

Shanghai, 1890s: