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Photographer's Note

This is an narrow alley between 2 rows of buildings. I am not sure how to properly describe this place because the information I got is in Chinese (please see below). Anyway it is sort of a back alley and it is very narrow. The length of this narrow alley is 68 meters and the narrowest point is just 0.8M width. The total number of square stone being laid in this alley is 166 pieces. The wall on both side is about 6-10 meter tall. Its a very unique place and when you walk through this alley you have a special feeling...

古镇在明代以前大户人家有唐、王、赵、陆四姓,明以后又有倪、蒋、朱、卜、陆等大户,故多建有深宅大院。宅深形成长长的弄,镇上现仍长短不一的弄122条,其中百米以上的宅弄有5条,最有特色的一条露天弄名叫石皮弄。

石皮弄在西塘镇下西街,"种福堂"西首,是夹在两幢住宅之间的露天弄堂,建于明末清处。在西塘镇122条长短不一的弄中,石皮弄最窄,宽仅1米,弄口最窄处仅0.8米,全长68米,由166快石铺成,弄面平整,下为下水道。石皮弄左右两壁梯级状山墙有6-10米高,至今完整地保留着古老而又独特的风姿。

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