Surging Wave Pavilion

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The Canglang Pavilion , variously translated as the Great Wave Pavilion, Surging Wave Pavilion, or Blue Wave Pavilion, is one of the Classical Gardens of Suzhou that are jointly recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located at 3 Canglangting Street in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, China.

Surging Wave Pavilion
Surging Wave Pavilion

It is also one of the four most famous gardens in the city - the others being the Shizilin (Lion Grove), Zhuozhengyuan (Humble Administrator's Garden) and Liuyuan (Lingering Garden). The garden was originally the private property of a prince of the Five Dynasties (907-960). During the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), Su Zimei, a scholar, built his mansion here and named it Canglang Pavilion. The garden has been rebuilt many times but most of the present garden buildings, simple and plain, are from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Surging Wave Pavilion
Surging Wave Pavilion

Covering an area of 10,656 square meters (1.1 hectares), the garden features well-arranged man-made hills and waters. On the stream winding through the garden, elegant stone bridges are built. On the hills, there are age-old trees and bamboo groves.

Surging Wave Pavilion
Surging Wave Pavilion

Canglanging, a square pavilion, stands at the top of a hill. Couplets carved on its stone pillars read: "The refreshing breeze and the bright moon are priceless; The nearby water and the distant mountains strike a sentimental note." A corridor built by the canal lies in the north of the garden, linking the scenes inside the garden with that outside it.

Surging Wave Pavilion
Surging Wave Pavilion

Mingdao (Enlightened Way) Hall, located at the foot of the hills, is the major building of the garden. It was a hall for lectures during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Surrounded by verdant trees, it looks significant, though the structure is of simple architectural style.

Surging Wave Pavilion
Surging Wave Pavilion

The Canglang Pavilion was built in 1044 CE by the Song dynasty poet Su Shunqin (1008-1048), on the site of a pre-existing imperial flower garden c 960 CE. It is the oldest of the UNESCO gardens in Suzhou, keeping its original Song dynasty layout.

Surging Wave Pavilion
Surging Wave Pavilion

The name is derived from a verse in the poem Fishermen by Qu Yuan (ca. 340 BCE-278 BCE), a poet from the southern state of Chu during the Warring States period, in his book Songs of the South, "If the Canglang River is dirty I wash my muddy feet; If the Canglang River is clean I wash my ribbon".

Surging Wave Pavilion
Surging Wave Pavilion

The 1.6 ha garden is divided into two main sections. The garden is sited on a branch of the Fengxi Stream which forms a lotus pond. The garden has 108 windows each one with a unique design.

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