The architecture along the Bund or Waitan is a living museum of the colonial history of the 1800s. The area centers on a section of Zhongshan Road within the former Shanghai International Settlement.
The word bund means an embankment or an embanked quay. It was initially a British settlement; later the British and American settlements were combined in the International Settlement.
The Bund is a mile-long stretch of waterfront promenade along the Huangpu River. There are 52 buildings of various architectural styles, including Gothic, baroque, and neoclassical styles. The area is often referred to as “the museum of buildings”.
Building styles include Romanesque Revival, Gothic Revival, Renaissance Revival, Baroque Revival, Neo-Classical or Beaux-Arts, as well as a number in Art Deco style.
Having seen these buildings initially the night before, mostly lit up, our viewing this morning was from the land side, and particularly interesting in that the colonial architecture was really fascinating considering their location, but not surprising given Shanghai’s history. A lot of these buildings would be more at home in London, that out in the far east.
The Bund waterfront is about two kilometers long and impossible to cover in the time allowed for this part of the tour.
There was just enough time to get photos of the waterfront and the old buildings.
Some of these buildings had odd shapes, like one on the far right that looks like a bottle opener.
And, for some odd reason, a bull.
On the other side of the water, the sights that had been quite colorful the night before, were equally impressive though somewhat diminished by the haze.