Wooden Cantilever Covered Bridges in Anhua, China
Keywords:Wooden cantilever covered bridge, Cantilever system, Bridge corridor, Traditional Chinese roof, Totem
Wooden cantilever covered bridges are known for their marvelous shapes and manufacturing technique. Many wooden cantilever covered bridges were constructed during Ming and Qing Dynasties in Anhua province, China, due to the “Tea-Horse Trade” policy. The excellent performance of wooden materials and exquisite building techniques have kept these wooden bridges well-preserved and worthy of investigation. This paper conducted a comprehensive review of wooden cantilever covered bridges in Anhua, especially for the eight bridges listed as historical and cultural heritage protected at the provincial or the national level. The discussions covered the historical background of the bridges, their locations and dimensions, and the details of their structures including the cantilever systems, corridors, and roofs. Moreover, the cultural background was introduced to better understand the meaning of the decorations carved on the bridges and the logic of location selections.