A convoluted explanation on the reasons for this memorial came down to it being about the deaths of those involved in the 1923 Erqi strike, though we’re not really sure what the strike was about.
So, after a little research, this is what I found:
The current Erqi Tower was built in 1971 and was, historically, the tallest building in the city. It is a memorial to the Erqi strike and in memory of Lin Xiangqian and other railway workers who went on strike for their rights, which happened on February 7, 1923.
It has 14 floors and is 63 meters high. One of the features of this building is the view from the top, accessed by a spiral staircase, or an elevator, when it’s working (it was not at the time of our visit).
There seems to be an affinity with the number 27 with this building, in that
- It’s the 27th memorial to be built
- to commemorate the 27th workers’ strike
- located in the 27th plaza of Zhengzhou City.
We drive to the middle of the city where we once again find traveling in kamikaze traffic more entertaining than the tourist points
When we get to the drop-off spot, it’s a 10-minute walk to the center square where the tower is located on one side. Getting there we had to pass a choke point of blaring music and people hawking goods, each echoing off the opposite wall to the point where it was deafening. Too much of it would be torture.
But, back to the tower…
It has 14 levels, but no one seemed interested in climbing the 14 or 16 levels to get to the top. The elevator was broken, and after the great wall episode, most of us are heartily sick of stairs.
The center square was quite large but paved in places with white tiles that oddly reflected the heat rather than absorb it. In the sun it was very warm.
Around the outside of two-thirds of the square, and crossing the roads, was an elevated walkway, which if you go from the first shops and around to the other end, you finish up, on the ground level, at Starbucks.
This is the Chinese version and once you get past the language barrier, the mixology range of cold fruity drinks are to die for, especially after all that walking. Mine was a predominantly peach flavor, with some jelly and apricot at the bottom. I was expecting sliced peaches but I prefer and liked the apricot half.
A drink and fruit together was a surprise.
Then it was the walk back to the meeting point and then into the hotel to use the happy house before rejoining the kamikaze traffic.
We are taken then to the train station for the 2:29 to our next destination, Suzhou, the Venice of the East.