The Hankow Bund.
Aside from the Shanghai Bund, Wuhan probably possesses the best-preserved colonial-era Bund, or waterfront, in all of East Asia. I refer to the Hankow Bund, which, at 4 km long, is twice the size of the Shanghai Bund; and, paying host to five different foreign concessions, has an amazing diversity of architectural styles.
The Hankow Bund hasn’t survived in its entirety, like its sister Bund in Shanghai has. It is broken up in places by contemporary buildings; and the different Bunds have experienced different fates. The German and Japanese Bunds, for example, have almost all been destroyed or built over – and are a poor shadow of their former selves. The British, Russian and French have fared better, though they too, remain only in patches.
But if you total all the historic buildings up, you will find that there are a comparable number of worthy, historic monuments as there are in Shanghai; and that itself is enough to make the Hankow Bund worth mentioning/visiting on this Grand Tour.
Here is a walking tour along the Bund, with the major historic monuments featured – and the occasional contemporary building. Bear in mind that documentation for the buildings on the Bund is poor, and almost all documentation, in the form of heritage plaques (many of which have been torn off by the private operators of these buildings), are in Chinese (and are themselves poorly researched).
The British Bund
The Hankow Customs House 江漢關 (1922).
The Nisshin Kissen Kaisha Building (1926).
The Yokohama Specie Bank (1917) being restored.
Bund # 140 – Renaissance style building.
Just next door…
The City Bank of New York (1921) was the forerunner of today’s Citibank.
The former Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Corporation headquarters (1917).
Bund #144 (1900s).
REsidential apartments on the bund.
Asiatic Petroleum Company Building (1925)
A view of the British Bund.
Bund #153 – possibly the British Consulate.
The Russian Bund
Just next door…
Tokmakoff Molotkoff & Co (1921) – a tea manufacturer, also known as the Sun-Tai 新泰 Company.
A former Russian Bank and former home to Song Qingling (1896).
The heritage marker had been torn off this building, but I assume it must be the former Russian Consulate. Let’s hope it is not demolished.
Apartment buildings just next door…
The French Bund
The former American Consulate (1905)
The Banque de L’Indochine (1901).
One of two office or residential blocks next door…
The second, almost identical residential block.
The warehouse of a former bank (1901), once also the Hankow Hotel (1935).
Anonymous building next door.
The Municipal Government Assembly Hall (1954).
The German Bund
The former German Consulate.
Many of the original buildings on the German Bund have been converted to municipal offices, like this one.
More municipal offices.
A Chinese restaurant – the outline of the original German building is still visible.
Large block of offices.
The Japanese Bund
The Japanese Consulate (1913).
Detail of the Consulate.
The original villa is barely visible behind the new structure.
About Kennie Ting
I am a wandering cityophile and pattern-finder who is pathologically incapable of staying in one place for any long period of time. When I do, I see the place from different perspectives, obsessive-compulsively.
I am a teacher and I recently taught the novel Homesick: My Own Story by Jean Fritz in my high school ESL class – made up of Mandarin and Cantonese English Language learners. Thank you for these photographs of the new city of Hankou (Wuhan) set against its former history as the site of several concessions – which plays a crucial role in the book – the main character, a ten year-old American girl, based on the author’s autobiography – lived in the British concession. It is interesting to see these vestiges of the past – I especially like the picture of the modern apartment blocks being built with the foreground of the old city.