The Liwa River (Zhongbei Campus)

Liwa River is the main river passing through East China Normal University (ECNU). With willow overhanging the rippling water, and green trees and abundant blossoms lining the river bank, the river winds its way through the campus, making itself one of the most breathtaking scenes in the University. Song Lin, a famous Chinese modern poet and a former teacher at ECNU, wrote in a letter to his friend that “If there should exist Heaven, then it must undoubtedly be the Liwa River.”

In the early 1900s, the place where the Liwa River is located was then part of the suburb forming the Shanghai concession for cross-border road construction and was probably a part of the Jiangnan Water Networks. It is said that the place was opened up as a commercial waterside leisure resort by some Russian immigrants and mainly served foreign nationals, Chinese middle class and the bourgeoisie.

The leisure resort was called “Rio Rita”, which is of Spanish origin. The owner named it after an American musical from 1929 named “Rio Rita”, which was a love story about a Mexican girl Rita who lived near the Rio Grande, a river  along the Mexican border.  With little knowledge of the Spanish language and the film, some Chinese misunderstood “Rio” and transliterated it into “Liwa” which actually means “river”.

After the leisure resort closed, Great China University was built in that district, and later incorporated into ECNU. From then on, Liwa River became synonymous with ECNU. 

 Qun Xian Tang/Talents’ Hall (Zhongbei Campus)

Qun Xian Tang (which means Hall of Talents), also known as Wen Shi Lou (meaning Arts & History Building), was built in 1929 as a part of Great China University, which was later incorporated into ECNU. It is the seat of ECNU’s Arts and Sciences with the name Qun Xian Tang implying “a place where talents and scholars assemble”.   

         Li Ke San Guan/Three Buildings of Science(Zhongbei Campus)                                 

Li Ke San Guan (meaning Three Buildings of Science) refers to the three buildings surrounding the University motto tablet. With their grand and traditionally symmetrical style, Li Ke San Guan are regarded as the most  distinctive constructions in  the University.  

 Lotus Pond (Zhongbei Campus)

With its traditional stone bridge and an abundance of  lotuses, the Lotus Pond opposite the Liwa River is also one of the most attractive  spots on the Zhongbei Campus, especially in summer.

With blooming lotuses covering the whole water surface, the pond provides an ideal place  to  relax in hot weather  thanks to its pleasant scenery and cool atmosphere. 

Xiayu Island (Zhongbei Campus)


Surrounded by water of Liwa River in three sides, three connecting  bridges, rockeries, pavilions and ancient trees of various styles co-existing harmoniously with each other, Xiayu Island makes the University more like a beautiful garden. In midsummer, sound of raindrops and cicadas’ singing compose an intoxicating symphony and add to its enduring charm. 

The Shangyi Bridge (Minhang Campus)

Shangyi Bridge is a single-arch stone bridge built during the Orthodox years of the Ming Dynasty. With the passing of the years, the bridge has remained the same and stands across the Cherry River. When Minhang campus was built, the designer decided to preserve the bridge, which adds a special characteristic to the new campus of the University.   

                                                       The Cherry River (Minhang Campus)

The Cherry River winds its way through the broad landscape of Minhang Campus and flows into the Pujiang River. With green trees and flourishing blossoms along its two banks, the river bears a striking remblance to the Liwa River on Zhongbei Campus and can be regarded as the soul of the new campus. 

 The Humanities Gallery (Minhang Campus)

The Humanities Gallery is a formative arts display exhibiting the history and achievements of East China Normal University (ECNU) and comprises seven scenic spots, including a relief sculpture, bamboo groves, the ECNU Gate, etc. 

 Stone Inscription of “Dashi” (Minhang Campus)

The Stone Inscription of “Dashi” is located in front of the University Woods. It depicts the two characters “Dashi” carved into one side of a giant stone slab and has an introduction about the Minhang Campus engraved on the other side. The two characters “Dashi” carry the meaning that East China Normal University (ECNU) is a place that gives rise to great educators and talents. 

Woods of Universities (Minhang Campus)

The University Woods is a lush ginkgo wood located in front of the entrance gate to  East China Normal University (ECNU). Every ginkgo tree is planted with a board on which the name of a university is written with the year  in which it established cooperation with ECNU. One ginkgo tree represents one university.