A Chinese folk tale: Beixinqiao in Beijing

Ghost street beijing

Tales are an important part of Chinese culture. In this post, we will introduce to you the mysteries of the ” New Bridge in the North”, Beixinqiao. This bridge’s origins are surrounded by marvel and mystery.

According to the legend, during the early years of the Ming dynasty, as Liu Bowen, strategist, political man and scholar and Yao Guanxiqo, high-ranked monk, were planning to found the city of Beijing, several sinkholes appeared in the ground, leading into the abyss. Two of these sinkholes, the widest ones, opened right under temples: one under the Mont Yuquan temple and another under the Baita temple tower (today’s White Pagoda temple). A third sinkhole appeared in a place where there was nothing to keep this strange occurrence under control, merely a bridge…

a chinese folk tale about Beixinqiao in Beijing

Sometimes, a terrible monster wandered out of this unchecked sinkhole, spreading havoc in the surrounding areas. Asked to deal with the situation, Liu Bowen decided to negotiate.

One day, he told the monster: ” I am planning to found the city of Beijing here, could you please stay under the bridge until it becomes old and derelict ? When this time comes, you will be able to get out and go wherever you wish.”

The monster thought about it for a while and then suddenly jumped right down the sinkhole. Then, Liu Bowen announced that, from this point forward, the bridge would be called “Beixinqiao”, the New Bridge in the North. With such a name, he explained, the bridge could never become old and derelict.

Over the years, there were many attempts to get rid of the sinkhole. During the Japanese occupation, soldiers tried to pull out a long iron chain that was thrown into the abyss. The soldiers pulled out the chain for two kilometers but suddenly yellowish water burst out with the sound of rolling sea waves. Frightened, the soldiers decided to give up immediately. Several following attempts failed in similar ways.

Even during the construction of line 5 of the Beijing subway, the workers were very cautious in order to avoid to “disturb” the monster trapped down there.

Nowadays, the Beijingqiao area is very developed. It has become a residential area with many apartments and is very appreciated by the China expats who have no clue about the monster lurking deep down the mysterious sinkhole.


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