Shaoxing is the second oldest city of Zhejiang province. In history of China, it is famous as a capital city of Yue State, which King Goujian rejuvenated and historians look at as the last power in the period of the Spring and Autumn. Up to present, it has a history of more than 2,500 years. The history and culture of this waterside city could be more read in the page of Shaoxing history and culture. Thanks to its long history and profound culture, Shaoxing is abundant in tourist resources.|
The Legacy of Calligraphy. Calligraphy is widely known as the essence of Chinese culture and has been accepted by UNESCO to be the intangible heritage of the world. Around the world, it is the only art of language or characters, because it is made up of Chinese characters. In this way, it could be defined specifically as the art of Chinese character. Chinese character is the root of Chinese culture and the source of Chinese civilization. The characters in the form of the calligraphic handwriting could be a poem, a prose, an essay, even a painting, through all of which the philosophy of traditional Chinese people could be thoroughly expressed. The most famous calligraphy master was Wang Xizhi, who people respect to be the Sage of Calligraphy, and he created his greatest work in Shaoxing on a springtime festive day with his friends at Lanting (the Orchid Pavilion) approximately 1,700 years ago. Since then, Shaoxing was reputed as China City of Calligraphy.
The Waterside Relics. Shaoxing is ancient city. A multitude of valued sites have been remained and becomes today’s hot spots for traveling such as the gardens like Shenyuan Garden, the ancient townships like Anchang Old Town and Cangqiao Street. Furthermore, the cultural mountains full of the historical sites.
Lanting Garden (兰亭), or internationally translated to be the Orchid Pavilion. It is the holy land of Chinese calligraphy and the spiritual paradise of the elite or reclusive scholar-officials. It was said that King Goujian planted orchid here, and some pavilions were established nearby, so it was named The Orchid Pavilion. It also was the temporary residence of Wang Xizhi, who made it historically famous in China through a scholar’s cultural party named Lanting Party, and then his marvelous work – Lan Ting Xu (The Preface to the Poems Composed at the Orchid Pavilion) appeared. More to read at the Introduction to Lanting Garden >>>
- Lanting International Calligraphy Festival (兰亭国际书法节). This is a themed festival with calligraphy. Generally held during the Tomb-Sweeping Festival or Qing Ming Festival (On March 3 in Lunar Calendar), the festival has a high reputation in East Asia, especially in the circle of China, Japan and Korea. Many traditional cultural scenes could be reviewed here. More to read at the Introduction to Lanting International Calligraphy Festival >>>
Mountains & Lakes. Shaoxing is a garden city similar to Hangzhou and Suzhou, thanks to its fantastic natural surroundings and locations. The geographic advantage brings it many wonderful natural resources such as the Kuaiji Mountain, Hou Mountain, Jianhu Lake and East Lake.
Shen Gardens (沈园) . In ancient city zone of Shaoxing, this is the most famous private-owned classical garden constructed in Song Dynasty. Up to now, it has a history of more than 800 years. Due to the owner with a surname of Shen, it was known as the Shen Garden. In culture of China, it has a classical profile of love and tragedy, owing to the love story between Lu You and Tang Wan, as well as their great love prose inscribed on the white walls. Today, the night performance here is also popular. More to read at the Introduction to Shen Garden >>>
- Cangqiao Straight Street (仓桥直街). With a total length of 1.5 kilometers, the ancient Street of Cangqiao is comprised of the riverways, folk residences and the streets. The buildings were mostly built in the period of late Qing Dynasty and early Republic of China. Many of the local architectural sites were well preserved and remained the original look of the water towns. It won the honorable mention award of UNESCO Asia-Pacific Cultural Heritage Reservation Project. More to read at the Introduction to Cangqiao Street >>>
- Anchang Ancient Town (安昌古镇). One of four most famous ancient townships in Shaoxing, and also one of sites listed in the first group of ancient cultural townships in Zhejiang province. Located in the northwest part of Keqiao District. It closely connects Xiaoshan, Hangzhou. Originally built in Northern Song Dynasty, and rebuilt in Ming and Qing periods. The whole water town features the ancient taste and look of east China. The local delicacies are unique and only available here. The wedding above water is a highlighted show here. More to read at the Introduction to Anchang Ancient Town >>>.
- Bazi Bridge(八字桥). Literally meaning the Eight Character Bridge. Located between Guangning Bridge and Dongshuang Bridge, the east end of Baziqiao Street, Shaoxing. It is only an ancient bridge that the country accepts it as a cultural site under the national key protection. It is a key point connecting the waterways of the Grand Canal and Jinghu Lake. More to read at the Introduction to Bazi Bridge >>>.
Temples and Memorials. In the East China, most of citizens believe the Buddhism, and honor the ancient celebrities. Therefore, the temples and memorial temples or residences are the popular places that local people prefer to visit and stay to think about life and reevaluate themselves. We call that – Reconsidering Self in Memory of the Ancient Souls. The most famous temples and memorials halls or somewhere similar are listed below:
- Kuaiji Mountain (会稽山). This is a cultural mountain in China. Kuaiji is the old name of Shaoxing. The Kuaiji Mountain crosses many places in Shaoxing, and has approximately 6 kilometers away from downtown Shaoxing. The main tourist scenic spots here include Dayu Mausoleum, Xialu Peak, and Grand Fragrance Forest. In ancient times, Kuaiji Mountain is a holy place that emperors took for worshipping, and also one of nine most famous mountains in ancient China. More to read at the Introduction to Kuaiji Mountain>>>.
- Hou Mountain (吼山). This is a natural wonderland that the god gives Shaoxing. It lies in the Gaobu Town, Yuecheng District, Shaoxing. Originally named Gou Mountain, or Dog Mountain or the Quanting Mountain or Dog Pavilion Mountain, and later, the local governor found it was not good as a name of mountain, and then changed to Hou Mountain which literally means the Roaring Mountain. The natural landscape here is special and unique. It features the weird peaks, strange rocks, tranquil caves and deep waters. The stone here are highly valued by the way. More to read at the Introduction to Hou Mountain >>>.
- Jinghu Lake (镜湖). Qiu Jin was a heroine in modern China for fighting against the Qing government. And her nickname was the Lady Warrior of Jianhu Lake, because she was born in Shaoxing, and Jianhu Lake is the symbol of Shaoxing in some way. In 2002, it was officially named to be Jinghu Lake or Mirror Lake, which Wang Xizhi gave. It is a national wetland park and the mother lake of Shaoxing. More to read at the Introduction to Jinghu Lake >>>.
- East Lake (东湖). Honored to be one of three most famous lakes in Zhejiang province. It is a big scenic area for boating trip on a typically local boat that the local boatman wearing the black cap handles. The crescent lake is hemmed in by a hill formed of bluestone, a kind of material widely used in building houses, bridges and roads. More to read at the Introduction to East Lake >>>.
Shaoxing University. Shaoxing is an important regional center of Zhejiang province and has a great impact in this area. The economy of Shaoxing ranks top 20 of China It is a nationwide famous center of textile industry. However, the higher education is not so strong as its economy. The most famous one is Shaoxing University, specifically translated to be Shaoxing College of Arts and Science. Shaoxing University is a comprehensive higher education institute highlighted with its education of calligraphy and arts. More to read at the Introduction to Shaoxing University>>>.
- Grand Buddha Temple (大佛寺). Located in Xinchang, the Grand Buddha Temple is famous for its Buddhist grotto art. It is a sacred center of Buddhism in Zhejiang province. The whole scenic area is integrated with bizarre stones and deep valleys. It is a nice place for sightseeing and retreat meditation. Originally built in East Jin Dynasty (317-420), today, it is national key temple of Buddhism with a history of more than 1,500 years. The grand Maitreya Buddha Stone Statue with a height of 16.3 meters is a treasure of Buddhist art and the only relic of southern China’s grotto art. More to read at the Introduction to Grand Buddha Temple >>>.
- Mausoleum of Da Yu (大禹陵). This was listed into national 36 imperial mausoleums for worshipping and sacrificing in Ming Dynasty. Da Yu, or Yu The Great, was the founder of China's first dynasty, Xia, and the famous soul in history for controlling the flood. At present, it is an important cultural site under the national protection. The whole memorial building complex is built in line with the layout and level of imperial mausoleums. The huge stele inscribed with three big characters - Da Yu Ling, which was written by Nan Daji, a governor of Shaoxing in Ming Dynasty. More to read at the Introduction to Da Yu Mausoleum >>>.
- Platform of King Yue (越王台). This is a relevance to a famous story in history that King Yue underwent self-imposed hardships to strengthen his resolve to revive Yue State in the period of Spring and Autumn. The whole building is quite large in history but unfortunately bombed out by Japan in 1939. Today it was a restoration of 1981, but its the stone bricks of the base are the authentic relics of Song Dynasty.
- Lu Xun’s Hometown (鲁迅故居). Shaoxing was the birthplace of Lu Xun who was respected to be the unprecedented soul of literature and ideology in modern China. The hometown of Lu Xun is a typical waterside town, which the traditional lifestyle and water transportation are well preserved. The main tourist attractions here including the Memorial Hall of Lu Xun and His Family, The Residence of Lu Xun, The Famous Sanwei Shuwu Private School and many relevant buildings for opera performance and living. More to read at the Introduction to Lu Xun’s Hometown >>>.
Lan Ting Xu