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Home Hangzhou Attractions West Lake 18 Scenes of West Lake in Qing Dynasty

18 Scenes of West Lake in Qing Dynasty


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Eighteen Classic Scenes of Hangzhou West Lake Scenic Area in Qing Dynasty During the reign of Emperor Yongzheng in Qing Dynasty, Li Wei, the governor of Zhejiang Province, dredged the water area of West Lake Scenic Area and resurfaced or reconstructed the places of interest surrounding the West Lake. In the meantime, he also added eighteen scenes of West Lake, which are the extra highlights for West Lake sightseeing. These eighteen scenes distribute extensively, throughout the whole scenic area of Hangzhou West Lake, including the lakeside hills, lakes, grottoes, springs, rocks and gardens. The connotation of these scenes is constituted of natural view and folk customs, majority of which are transformed or developed from the traditional landscapes and scenery, and also some of them are the newly-added scenic spots. Nowadays, most of the scenic sights are extinguished or renewed in the form of the new names.

Xiling Society of Seal Art in Hangzhou
Xiling Society of Seal Art in Hangzhou

Hu Shan Chun She (The Spring Society of Lakes and Hills or The Spring Society of Hangzhou for Hushan is another literary name of Hangzhou, 湖山春社) used to be located on the southern foot of Qixia Hill. In accordance to the illustration of the West Lake Record, the shrine of Hangzhou was located on the southwest side of (Yue Fei Memorial(岳鄂王祠) and faced Jin Sha Jian(Jinsha Gully, 金沙涧) and backed on Wushi Peak(乌石峰). In the ninth year of Emperor Yongzheng’s reign, Li Wei built up this shrine to sacrifice to the God of Hangzhou. On both sides, there used to twelve goddess of flowers. From January to December, Hangzhou is full of flowers and each type of flower is legendarily dominated by goddess. In spring, the beauties of Hangzhou nearly gathered here for meeting and leisure. It used to be a large and important gathering annually and the participants all wore formally. So it was called Hu Shan Chun She. However, in the reign of Emperor Xianfeng, the architecture was broken down by warfare, and amid the reign of Emperor Guangxu, it was renamed Can Xue Guan(Hall of Silkworm Knowledge, 蚕学馆). Today, it is the site of scenic sport titled Qu Yuan Feng He(Curved Yard and Lotus Pool in Summer, 曲院风荷).

Gong De Chong Fang (Worshipping Commemorative Building of Merit and Morality, 功德崇坊), today’s site of Liu Lang Wen Ying(Orioles Singing in the Willows, 柳浪闻莺), used to be the front of Qianwang Memorial(钱王祠) or Biaozhong Temple outside Qingbo Men(Gate of Clear Wave, 清波门). In 1727, Li Wei constructed a stone commemorative building in front of Biaozhong Temple. In accordance with the Record of West Lake, it was an elegant destination for literators and talented people’s gathering and academic meeting. However, in the period of Cultural Revolution, this stone building was removed, and the nearby Lotus Pond was also filled with stones.

Yu Dai Qing Hong (Jade Ribbon with Sunny Rainbow, 玉带晴虹) is located at today’s Jinsha Causeway(金沙堤). In the Record of West Lake, Jingsha Harbor located on the west side of interior part of West Lake is opposite to the Wangshan Bridge of Su Causeway. In the ninth year of Emperor Yongzheng’s reign, Li Wei, the governor of Zhejiang preferred the perfect scene and built the causeway on the north side of Wangshan Bridge, and this causeway was named Jinsha Causeway, which also had a stone-made girder to connect the interior part of West Lake with the main part of West Lake. During the late period of Qing Dynasty, the pavilion of the bridge was ruined, and the bridge was reconstructed in 1983, so was the pavilion of the bridge. Also, the whole construction was rebuilt as the original sizes and patterns.

Hai Xia Xi Shuang (Sea Glow of West Comfort, 海霞西爽) located at today’s Solitary Hill. In 1730, Li Wei built up Xishuang Pavilion on the hill for the building was built on the west side of Solitary Hill, which is located on the west side of West Lake. Therefore, this scene was finally named with this pavilion. In Record of West Lake, the illustration is that the right side of Shengyin Temple is Solitary Hill, and a high platform like a highland is at the west foot of Solitary Hill, and under the platform, it was the original site of West Taiyi Palace of Song Dynasty, and the former representative buildings included Yicui Hall and Wanghai Pavilion.

Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon
Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon
hangzhou west lake tours
The Springtime of the West Lake

Mei Lin Gui He (The Returning Crane of Plum Forest, 梅林归鹤) located on the Solitary Hill. In Record of West Lake, the description as below: The Fanghe Pavilion is located at the north side of Solitary Hill, and in Song Dynasty, Lin Bu, a famous reclusive figure in history of China culture, lived here, so his residence and tomb were also available over there. In the tomb area, there are lots of old plum trees. Formerly, Lin Bu planted over three hundred plum trees in Solitary Hill, but majority of them vanished later, and the coming generations planted a large bunch of plum trees again. In Ming Dynasty, the local governor rebuilt the Fanghe Pavilion and named it Fang He(放鹤, Set Cranes Free). In Yuan Dynasty, a local named Chen Zian admired Lin Bu for his story of keeping single all the life, taking plum tree as wife and taking crane as sons, so he constructed a pavilion in another site close to the tomb of Lin Bu. This scene was one of the extended or additional views of West Lake Scenic Area.

Yu Zhao Qiu Rong (Fish Pond with Autumnal Lotus, 鱼沼秋蓉) located at Xiaoyingzhou(小瀛洲) in the middle of West Lake. In the Overview of Hangzhou, a book in Chinese Hu Shan Bian Lan(湖山便览): Xiaoyingzhou was reconstructed in the fifth year of Emperor Yongzheng’s reign. And the pavilion named San Tan Ying Yue(Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon, 三潭印月) was in front of it, and the rear was Qu Qiao(Zigzag Bridge, 曲桥). This is a typical classic building complex featuring the southern garden art. In pond, abundant lotuses were planted. This scene was also an extended or additional view of West Lake Scenic Area. Today, it was a part of the scenic spot of San Tang Ying Yue.

Lian Chi Song She (Lotus Pond with Pine House, 莲池松舍) located on the Solitary Hill. In accordance to the record of Hu Shan Bian Lan, in the fifth year of Emperor Yongzheng, governor Li Wei rebuilt Memorial of Lord Ma and renamed it Ni An, a Memorial to worship The Dragon of the Sea. Near to this memorial, it was a white-lotus pool, and an additional scene called Lian Chi Song She was over there. During the Republic of China, this memorial was changed to be a pavilion.

Bao Shi Feng Ting (Phoenix Pavilion on Baoshi Hill, 宝石凤亭). This site was built on Baoshi Hill close to Baochu Buddhist Pagoda. The whole shape of the hill looks like an unfolding-wing phoenix, and Baochu Pagoda seems like the head of the phoenix, and the pavilion is vividly built on the west-side huge stone. In the ninth year of Emperor Yongzheng’s reign, Li Wei built this pavilion and named it Laifeng Pavilion. And the scene named Bao Shi Feng Ting was additionally highlighted on Baoshi Hill, since 1950, the pavilion has been reconstructed or resurfaced for many times following its original, and today it belongs in the scene of Bao Shi Liu Xia(宝石流霞), More detail can be available in the page of Baochu Pagoda.

Ting Wan Qi She(Riding and Shooting at Tingwan, 亭湾骑射). It is located at the outside of today’s Yongjinmen(Gate of Gushing Gold, 涌金门), around the Hubing Park and Children’s Park. In Qing Dynasty, the troops stationing Hanghzou used to exercise the riding and shooting at the place, and according to the Record of West Lake, the origination of the name was exactly explained. Why was it called Tingwan? Because the water over here was called Ting Zhi Wan, Bay of Pavilion, so the local named it Tingwan. Li Wei later reconstructed the pavilion and set it as the place to parade the troops of Hangzhou. This scene was also one of the extra site of west lake scenic area in Qing Dynasty, but unfortunately, this pavilion was ruined as the town of Hangzhou was destroyed. During the Republic of China, the original site was opened as the stadium of the public and the place for mass education. After 1950, it was called Yongjing Park, belonging to a part of No.1 Hubing Park and Children Park.

Jiao Shi Ming Qin (The Singing Qin of Jiaoshi, 蕉石鸣琴)is located on the Dingjia Hill. According to the Record of West Lake:Dingjia Hill was located on the southwest side of Jinsha Port. There is the high point suiting for overlooking the West Lake. In Qing Dynasty, Li Wei dredged the West Lake, and resurfaced this scene. It was a natural site featured of some humanity, but it has been largely ruined. At present, it belongs in the realm of National Hotel of West Lake, and four characters of Jiao Shi Ming Qin are still available.

Jade Spring With Jumping Fishes
The Stele of Yu Le Guo Written by
Dong Qichang, a Great Calligrapher
and Painter in Modern China

Yu Quan Yu Yue (Jade Spring with Jumping Fishes,玉泉鱼跃) . In Record of West Lake, on Yuquan Spring or Jade Spring, there was a pavilion with a tablet written with two characters: Xi Xin(Washing Heart, 洗心). On both sides of the corridors, there are all the long wooden seats, and visitors seating there to appreciate the goldfishes. In New Record of West Lake, the fishes in spring were called Jade Fishes, and they are quite rarely-seen and treasurable. It was said that there just 3 jade fishes in Jade spring. These fishes usually hid at the bottom of the spring and accidentally appeared on the surface of water. Emperor Qianlong once inscribed the handwriting over there. There was a building with the main tablet of Yue Le Guo (Fish Kingdom of Pleasure, 鱼乐国), and besides, it was Xixin Pavilionm and Zhouyue Corridor. In spring, there was also a small stone pagoda. Yu Quan Yu Yue was an additional site as well. In Qing Dynasty, there were also many monks’ rooms surrounding the spring. By the way, three calligraphic characters of Yue Le Guo were copied from the stele of Fangsheng Pool(放生池) in Xiuning Ancient Town of Anhui province. During the Republic of China, the sides of the spring were changed to be the corridor of drinking tea and appreciating the fishes. In 1960s, the scene was thoroughly reconstructed, and three spring-style pools were dredged, but the basic layout was not changed at all. It was still a perfect place for breaking, drinking tea and appreciating fishes. It is quite classically traditional in the whole environment. At present, the beautiful temples and original scene have been ruined, but redesigned to be a new kind of view administrated by Hangzhou Botanical Garden. Today, the jade spring is 20 meters long and 10 meters wide, and the depth is roughly 1 meter, and many carps with different colors are raised there. After 1950, the natural water source of Jade Spring disappeared.

Feng Ling Song Tao (The Phoenix and Wansong Hills with Pines’ Waves, 凤岭松涛). This scene widely means the landscape of pine trees on Phoenix hill and Wansong Hill. In Record of West Lake, Wansong Hill was close to Phoenix Hill and on both sides of the paths or roads; the pine trees were largely planted. In Southern Song Dynasty, it was the imperial area, and the building complexes were like the palaces. But, many years later, this place was largely changed, and the paths and roads were broadened, and the pine trees on both sides of the road were cut. In Qing Dynasty, for recovering its original elegance, a large number of pine trees were planted as before, and this scene was added and finally called Feng Ling Song Tao. During the Republic of China, the pine tree decreased. And in the anti-japanese war, Hangzhou was occupied by Japan violently, and a lot of trees were cut. In 1950, under the support of Hangzhou Municipal Government, the number of pine trees increased tremendously. Today, this area is also a highlighted scene of Hangzhou tourist resources.

hangzhou west lake
The Summertime of West Lake

Hu Xin Ping Tiao (Viewing Beauty at the center of Lake, 湖心平眺). This is the scene of Huxin Pavilion of Exterior Part of West Lake Scenic Area. According to the New Record of West Lake, the Huxin Pavilion was at the center of the whole lake, and the surrounded by water, and outside of the water is the hills. This layout in Chinese philosophy called One Point in Supreme Universe(太虚, a sophisticated term of Chinese traditional philosophy with different connotation in different academic schools), and Huxin Pavilion was this point and it also become the highlights of the whole scene. This is also an additional scene in West Lake Scenic Area. In 1952, the pavilion was destroyed by white ants and was rebuilt in 1953.

Wu Shan Da Guan (The Grand View of Wushan Hill, 吴山大观) on the peak of Qibao Hill(Seven Treasures Hill, 七宝山) is available at present in the region of the square of Wushan Hill linking to Hefang Street(河坊街). As the illustration of Hushan Bianlan, there used to be Daguan Platform on the top of Qibao Hull, and the stone-surface was quite flat. In Ming Dynasty, Hu Zongxian(胡宗宪, a famous general and local governor of Ming Dynasty, and he born at the same place as president Hu) built a pavilion on it. During the reign of Emperor Kangxi, the local government built a tower-style stele on Qibao hill, and called this tower Da Guan Tai, or The Platform of Grand View. In New Record of West Lake, this tower was changed to be the Temple of Dragon King in the fifth year of Emperor Yongzheng’s reign, but a pavilion still was built on the peak to protect the stele of Emperor Kangxi, and this pavilion was called Da Guan Tai. And this scene was called Wu Shan Da Guan.

Tian Zhu Xiang Shi (The Pilgrim Fair of Tianzhu Region, 天竺香市). This place is exactly three temples respectively named the upper temple(Faxi Temple, 法喜寺), the middle temple(Fajing Templen,法净寺) and the lower temple(Fajing Temple, 法镜寺). This Buddhism fair usually forms in spring annually, and a lot of pilgrims visited here to do some Buddhism-related business for living and kindness. This fair started from the beginning of a year and ended by The Dragon-Boat Festival. Since Song Dynasty, this fair got its flourishing time, but finally declined during the Republic of China. In the Record of West Lake: going down The Lower Temple and entering the fair, the both sides which were the streams, and there were a lot of the bridges and countryside stores. During spring time, the villagers or the locals visited the temples for harvest wish. The hustle and bustle of fair was quite famous, and plenty of comers and goers shouldering the goods or commodities stayed here for business, and the local people called them Xiang Ke(The Pilgrims of Temples,香客). Also, a lot of the pilgrims of Putuo Mountain also visited here. Three temples were quite close and considerably grand and beautiful. This region is featured of the Buddhism culture, and the visitors just feel themselves living in the world of Buddha. Since 1949, this fair declined. After 1980, the fair reappeared with the help of the development of tourism since the local people’s life became richer and richer.

hangzhou west lake
The Sight of Yun Qi Fan Jing

Yun Qi Fan Jing (The Cloud Sleeping on the Path of Buddhism, 云栖梵径) in the new Record of West Lake, was a perfect scenic area for its temple buildings in the picturesque environment, and this extra scenic site is called Yun Qi Fan Jing. It is a scene featured of Buddhist culture and historical sites both in nature and humanity. Originally, there was also a Yunqi Temple, and the passerby and Buddhist pilgrims always stopped here to carefully the sound of the temple bells.

Tao Guang Guan Hai (Sight the Sea at Taoguang,韬光观海). Taoguang is a highland, and since Tang Dynasty, it used to be the good place to farther overlook the River of Qiantang. In Record of West Lake, this place was located in Lingyin Temple, and facing the Qiantang River. Hence, Song Zhiwen(宋之问), the famous poet of Tang Dynasty, once created a poem that”楼观沧海日, 门对浙江潮”(Viewing The Sun on the Sea from Tower, and The Door faces the Tide of Qiantang River). For this scene, the name was called Tao Guang Guan Hai. And in the sixteenth year of Emperor Qianlong’s reign, Emperor Qianlong royally inscribed four character of the board of Buddhism Hall:“云澄日观”. Taoguang Nunnery has been rebuilt for many times since 1950, and the buildings are traditionally built and absolutely featured with the traditional architectural style and aesthetics of garden art. Today, in the nunnery, there are scenes of Baiyun Shenchu(In Depth of the White Cloud, 白云深处), Yongfen Pavilion(涌芬阁), Tao Nunnery(韬庵), Yiou Pavilion(一瓯亭), Former Site of Refining Drugs of Lv Chunyang(吕纯阳炼丹台遗址), Guanhai Pavilion(观海亭), Houxian Pavilion(候仙亭) and Cave of Weimo(维摩洞) and so on.

hangzhou west lake
Viewing the Plum Blossom in Hangzhou
Xixi National Wetland

Xi Xi Tan Mei (Visiting Plum Flower at Xixi Wetland, 西溪探梅). Anciently, this scene was located on the north side of Laohe Hill(老和山), it is in Town of Liuxia(留下), roughly 9 kilometers away from Gudang(古荡), the east part of Gudang. This area is featured of the waterway network, famously called Xixi Wetland. As famous as Solitary Hill and Lingfeng Peak(Spiritual Peak, 灵峰), three areas are the top destinations of appreciating plum flowers. According to the Record of West Lake, there used to be the time-honored gardens and temples as well as the complicated waterway networks, and of course, the hills surrounding this special area as well. It is a virgin land of Hangzhou for its wild environment. There are also many historical and cultural sites deserving the tour and leisure. As early as the 1930s, The Xizi Wetland was still the destination for traveling, and the representative sites like Jiaolu Nunnery were the top tourist attractions in the region of Xixi Wetland. During the warfare of Anti-Japanese, Hangzhou was illegally occupied, and the scene of Xixi Wetland got declined and ruined. Today, Xixi Wetland became popular and famous over again, and these region has been redesigned and redeveloped in unison with the traditional layout and a lot of ancient tourist sites have been renewed and extended. It currently is one of the top tourist destinations of Hangzhou, and a lot of the high-tech companies as well as new campuses like Hangzhou Normal University are located over there as well. What is more, the world-famous E-commerce Company, as well as Also, build a center over there, which is called Town of Taobao. It is quite potential in the future of Hangzhou. Today, it is highly featured of the countryside landscape and the modern city culture. And this classic scene also has been revived.

 The Highlighted Attractions of Hangzhou

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Hangzhou Lingyin Temple Traditional Medicine Museum Baopu Taoist Temple Hangzhou Baochu Pagoda
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Hangzhou Liuhe Pagoda Hangzhou Tea Plantation Xixi Wetland Park Impression West Lake

 The Travel Guide of Hangzhou

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Hangzhou Travel Hangzhou Tours Hangzhou Attractions Hangzhou Travel Tips

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