The longest covered bridge in Asia has been destroyed after a fire roared through the wooden structure last night.
The Feng Yu Covered Bridge, in Chongqing, China, is known throughout the Far East for its traditional beauty topped by a pagoda-style roof that stretched 303 metres across the region's Apeng River.
But last night the five-metre-wide crossing, first built in 1591, collapsed into the waters as the blaze turned it to ashes.
Firefighters battled through the night in a bid to quell the flames, but by the time they got them under control it was too late.
By morning all that was left were its row of charred stone bases surrounded by blackened driftwood floating in the waters.
Authorities have now launched an investigation into what caused the fire.
First built in 1591 and also known as the 'Luck Bridge' and 'Flower Bridge,' it was constructed entirely of wood without any nails.
Destroyed and re-built several times over the centuries - most recently in 1999 when its wooden base was replaced by stone - it has always been the transportation fortress of Hunan-Guizhou highroad as well as a busy place with merchants and tourists.
The bridge has been likened to a dragon and it contains both intricate architectural features as well as artistic carvings.