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Home Hangzhou Attractions Ten Classic Views of West Lake Santan Yinyue

Santan Yinyue (Three Pools Mirroring the Moon) Introduction


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santan yinyue

Santan Yinyue(三潭印月, Three Pools Mirroring the Moon) is actually an isle in the center of west lake scenic area, the largest one among three isles, and the two others respectively are Huxinting(湖心亭) and Ruangongdun(阮公墩), the area of Santan Yingyue Isle is approximately 7 hectares, roughly 60,000 square meters. The surrounding of the isle is dike, and on the isle, there is also a lake, and the water area is designed to be a Chinese character”田”, on the water, a nine-zigzag bridge was built. The architecture on the isle is quite delicate and marvelous. The flowers are diverse in four seasons. Traditionally, it was compared to be a fairy on the water. On the south side of the water, there are three small size stone pagodas standing on the water. The pagodas share a height of 2 meters above the water, and body part is empty and comprised of five round holes. In the moonlit night, it is the best time to view 32 moons on the water, and it is also the greatest occasion to inspire travelers on poem creation.

Many people compared it as a small Yingzhou(小瀛洲), which is a legendary island on the east sea, and in accordance with many historic records such as Shiji(史记, Records of the Grand Historian, chiefly written by Sima Qian) and Hanshu(汉书, Book of Han, chiefly written by Ban Gu). There were three fairy islands on the east sea that the fangshu experts of Qi State(齐国, the east most powerful state in Spring and Autumn Period and the Period of Warring States) deeply believed. They are Fangzhang Island(方丈), Yingzhou Island(瀛洲) and Penglai Island(蓬莱). So, in the traditional culture and aesthetics, Santan Yinyue has a superior status.

【Fangshu -方术, the traditional branch of academic schools said to be from the mixture of Confucianism and Taoism, and also called Rusheng(儒生, the scholar of Confucianism, who was the victims of famous historic incident – Fengshu Kengru) before Han Dynasty, insisting on the existence of god and immortal ways, and engaging in the study of immoral and search of god or the way and place to get the immortal. It was popularized before Han Dynasty, and Emperor Qinshihuang and Emperor Hanwudi both spent a lot finding the fairylands where the immortal medicine and fairies exist】

The small stone pagodas used to be a bordering pagodas designed by Su Dongpo in northern Song Dynasty. In 1090, Su Dongpo as the governor of Hangzhou, dredged up the west lake, and erected the pagodas to be a sign for prohibiting the intrusion of the wild water caltrops. But in Yuan Dynasty, it was destroyed. Up to Ming and Qing Dynasties, it turned to be the site for sightseeing. The current pagodas were the restored in 1621, in Ming Dynasty. During the visit of Emperor Kangxi, the stele with his inscription was erected near to the site. Today, the pagodas have been the symbol of West Lake. In paper currency of 1 Yuan RMB, the themed background image is this view. As for the exact sites deserving travel, travelers had better have a trip.

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Editor: Julius from Mildchina
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