The Bund

The Bund is an area of Huangpu District in central Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. The area centres on a section of Zhongshan Road (East-1 Zhongshan Road) within the former Shanghai International Settlement, which runs along the western bank of the Huangpu River, facing Pudong, in the eastern part of Huangpu District. The Bund usually refers to the buildings and wharves on this section of the road, as well as some adjacent areas. The Bund is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Shanghai. Building heights are restricted in this area.

The word “bund” means an embankment or an embanked quay, and comes from the Urdu word band, meaning an embankment, levee or dam (a cognate of English terms “bind,” “bond” and “band,” the German term “bund,” etc.). “Bund” is pronounced to rhyme with “fund”. The term was brought to Shanghai by the family of Victor Sassoon, a Baghdadi-Nepali Jew. There are many “bands” to be found in Baghdad, even today. There are numerous sites in India, China, and Japan which are called “bunds” (e.g. the Yokohama Bund). However, “The Bund” as a proper noun almost invariably refers to this stretch of embanked riverfront in Shanghai.

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