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Those Legends of the West Lake

Post Date: 2020/06/23 14:29
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Hangzhou, known as "the Heavenly City", has accumulated many beautiful and moving legends due to the intoxicating mountain and water scenery in the city and its romantic cultural and literary atmosphere.

The Legend of the White Snake
The legendary story about the White Snake, according to records, was believed to first appear in Feng Menglong's "Ordinary Words to Warn the World (警世通言)" Volume 28 "The White Snake Was Imprisoned under Leifeng Pagoda" in the late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and then the world continued to add to the story, leading to the current widely-known version.

The White Snake, which transformed into a girl to requite the favor of Xu Xian saving its life, met Xu Xian on the Broken Bridge of West Lake, and to avoid the rain, the White Snake and Xu Xian shared a boat. Xu Xian lent her his oil paper umbrella so that the white snake could return home. The beautiful story of the White Snake and Xu Xian begins in this picturesque place, the Broken Bridge.


Reality? The Broken Bridge
The Broken Bridge of West Lake was first built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The "the Lingering Snow on the Broken Bridge" is one of the Top Ten Views of West Lake. During the winter at sunset, the snow did not completely melt, and from a distance, the Broken Bridge seemed to be broken.

While the White Snake and Xu Xian were living a happy life, Fa Hai, as a powerful monk, upheld the idea of eliminating demons and captured the White Snake and imprisoned it under the Leifeng Pagoda.

Reality? Leifeng Pagoda
The Leifeng Pagoda was originally built in the 10th century. After numerous wars and disasters, it collapsed in 1924. The newly built Leifeng Pagoda is China's first colorful bronze carved pagoda. As the sun went down, the tower was enveloped by the evening glow. Climbing up to the pagoda, people will see the mountains stretch far into the distance and the dreamy lake and mountains scenery in the distance.

The Butterfly Lovers
The legend of the Butterfly Lovers (Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai) is known as the oriental equivalence of "Romeo and Juliet". The poignant love story of the two has moved countless people throughout the ages.


Legend ? Three Years of Being Classmates
Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (who disguised herself as a boy), the hero and the heroine of the Butterfly Lovers, studied together at the Wansong Academy (万松书院) in Hangzhou. After three years, the pavilions, platforms, pagodas, buildings, winding corridors, school, books, etc. have witnessed the good memories of the two.

Reality ? Wansong Academy
The current Wansong Academy is located on Wansongling Mountain (万松岭) in the north of Fenghuang Mountain (凤凰山). It was built in the Tang Dynasty and was formerly known as Bao'en Temple (报恩寺). In the Ming and Qing dynasties, numerous scholars and masters had studied and taught school here and the academy was in its heyday.

Legend ? Saying Farewell
After several years of being classmates, Liang Shanbo failed to notice that Zhu Yingtai was female, but Zhu Yingtai had already secretly fallen in love with him. When it’s time for them to say goodbye, the two were reluctant to do so and walked back and forth on the Long Bridge many times. The Long Bridge is not long, but it carries their shyness when expressing love and the joy of knowing the love between them.

Reality ? the Long Bridge
The Long Bridge is located in the southeast corner of the West Lake and is adjacent to Jingci Temple. Many people have asked, "The bridge is not long. Why is it called the Long Bridge?" The reason is that there used to be a long bridge spanning the West Lake, which was shortened because the West Lake silted up. Although the long bridge was shortened, its name was kept.

The Legend of Su Xiaoxiao
The story of Su Xiaoxiao first appeared in " New Songs from the Jade Terrace (玉台新咏)". According to legend, Su Xiaoxiao is a famous courtesan in the Qi Dynasty of the Southern Dynasties. She is gorgeous and brilliant, and is good at composing poems since childhood.


Legend·the Place Where Su Xiaoxiao Fell in Love
Su Xiaoxiao was born of humble origins and became a courtesan. Despite that, she had a high sense of dignity and self-respect. One day beside the Xiling Bridge (西泠桥) in Hangzhou, while she was taking a stroll along the lake embankment, she met the young man Ruan Yu. They fell in love with each other at first sight and established a relationship. However, due to her status, it’s hard for them to get married. In the end, Su Xiaoxiao became seriously ill and told the people before she died: "I have nothing to ask for and I just want to be buried beside Xiling Bridge after I died."

Reality ? Xiling Bridge
Xiling Bridge is located between the foothills of Qixia Peak and the Solitary Hill. It is an arch stone bridge and is known as the Three Lovers Bridge of West Lake along with the Broken Bridge and the Long Bridge. In ancient times, this place was originally a picturesque ferry. Nowadays, due to the story of Su Xiaoxiao, Xiling Bridge is bestowed with a touch of romance.

SOURCE: visit hangzhou

Shanghai_travel_blog.pngTip:  Hassle-free Hangzhou Guided Tours recommended by Hangzhou Private Tour during the COVID-19

Due to safety concerns over the Covid-19 virus, Hangzhou Private Tour hand-picked some Hangzhou Tour with the beautiful West Lake as below for your reference to make sure that you will travel safely during Covid-19.

  1. Private Hangzhou Day Tour: Remarkable Journey of serenity and beauty of nature from US$70 P/P           (The hangzhou Westlake(including a boat cruise), Fish Viewing at the Flower Pond, Guo Garden, Drangon Well Tea Plantation, Bamboo lined path at Yunqi, Qinghefang Ancient Street)

  2. Hangzhou Day Tour with Impression WestLake Show from Shanghai by Bullet Train US$100 P/P
    (The hangzhou Westlake(including a boat cruise), Lingyin Temple, Meijiawu Tea Plantation, Qinghefang Street, Impression WestLake Show)

  3. Skip The Line: Ultimate Hangzhou Private Day Tour for Essence Highlights US$80 P/P
    (The hangzhou Westlake(including the boat cruise), Fish Viewing at the Flower Pond, Lingyin Temple and Meijiawu Tea Plantation, Anmanfayun Village, The Song Dynasty Imperial Street)

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