Beneath the tendrils of Shanghai’s elevated Yan’an Road lies a sleeping dragon, or so the urban legend goes. From the vantage point seen here, the expressway looks like a series of beautiful ribbons swirling around the People’s Square. In reality, it is a complex feat of engineering that took about 4 years to complete. At one point (or so they say) the entire project inexplicably came to a halt. As construction workers attempted to install the pillar that would serve as the main support beam for the entire roadway, the ground would not break. No expert in the field could blast, dig or drill their way through the surface. As a last resort, a Buddhist monk was called upon to visit the site and meditate upon the problem for 7 days and 7 nights. After extensive contemplation, the monk provided the answer they had been waiting for. Depending on who is telling this story, there was at least one (and perhaps as many as nine) dragons living below the construction site. Awoken from their sleep, the dragons were angry and decided to prevent the ground from being disrupted any further. The only way to appease them was to honor them with an offering. So today in this very spot, you can see the massive and beautifully ornate Nine Dragon Pillar supporting this intricate roadway at Chengdu crossing.