Map of Pingjiang - Atlas Obscura

Map of Pingjiang

You can still find your way around Suzhou with this 800-year-old stone map. 

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China’s oldest surviving city map is carved on a three-meter-tall stone tablet. Known as the Map of Pingjiang (now Suzhou), it was made in the year 1229 during the Song dynasty. The map covers the area within Suzhou’s city walls with remarkable accuracy: five city gates, 359 bridges, 67 temples, and numerous streets, lanes, and canals.

Suzhou old town’s layout has remained largely unchanged in the nearly 800 years since the map was created, and so have most of the place names, so you really can navigate around the city with this map. Just don’t expect it to fit inside your pocket.

Know Before You Go

The map tablet is now part of the collection at the Suzhou Museum of Inscribed Stone Tablets, which is colocated with the Confucian Temple across Renmin Road from Canglang (Surging Wave) Pavillion. Free admissions.

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