This recently uncovered daguerrotype from around 1844 is the earliest known photographic image of Shanghai. It shows the Huanlong Bridge 环龙桥 and the pavilion to the north of it. To get this picturesque angle, photographers and artists would walk along the south bank of the square pond with the renowned teahouse in the center. During the 20th century, quite a lot has changed about the Yuyuan garden and its features. Although the bridge still spans a small artificial channel connected to the pond, it has changed its appearance and a tall wall now blocks the bridge from the pond.
This handy map (of forgotten origin) shows the connection of the square pond and the channel with the bridge:
Here is a selection of photographs of the brigde and the canal over the last 170 years. Click on any image to see its provenance and precise location on PastVu.
[See the images...]
Image: Historical Photographs of China.
1900s; a turn-of-the-twentieth-century colorized postcard:
Image: Espen Solheim collection.
Undated colorized postcard: