Old photos of a city are always interesting to look at as they freeze time and capture history for those that come later to visit or live.
In the early 20th century, many foreigners took photos of Hangzhou. Some lived in the city in East China for years and others came on visits. Through their lenses, the city's beautiful scenery and the lives of its residents documented a century ago still arouse memories of a time when Hangzhou was as attractive as it is today.
Memories of a Heavenly City and Kaleidoscopic Views of the West Lake are two photo books edited by Shen Hong, a professor at Zhejiang University, who has long researched old photos taken by foreigners in China. They have become relevant in the light of the G20 Leaders Summit held in Hangzhou earlier this month.
Photos in the first book were taken by the late Robert Fitch, who spent most of his adult years living in Hangzhou, the heavenly city. A Chinese saying goes: "There's heaven above, and Suzhou and Hangzhou below."
Suzhou, a city of waterways and ancient gardens is near Hangzhou.