The Guangzi was originally a boat bridge built in 1170 AD in Southern Song Dynasty with the length of . Later construction of piers and framework started from both banks of the river on which it was moored, and a full 200 years later the Guangzi Bridge, a floating section of 18 supporting wooden boats in between two beamed sections, was completed, just as described in the folk rhyme: "Chaozhou has an attractive bridge supported by 18 boats and 24 piers. (潮州湘桥好风流,十八梭船廿四洲。)" When necessary the floating section can be disconnected for the passage of big boats, an innovation that set a precedent in bridge-building history. There are two iron cows standing at both ends of the bridge, in the hope of protecting the bridge from the flood damage. A feature that makes the bridge particularly outstanding is that its two beamed sections resemble waterside streets with 24 different style pavilions and towers on the 24 piers for doing business, which become a special view on the bridge.