Thursday, 28 May 2020

Hangzhou explorations: The treasures of Wushan (China)

Hi Sign Hunters!

The Hangzhou explorations series is back with part three, which is going to take you on a short trip to Wushan (吴山, meaning Wu Hill). Wushan has a central location in Hangzhou (literally in the city centre), situated near two very famous tourist attractions, West Lake and Hefang street. But part of Wushan is also very famous as it gives home to the City God Pavilion and Temple (Chenghuang Pavilion 城隍閣), which is another important landmark of the city. Because of the famous pavilion and temple complex, Wu Hill is also known as Chenghuang Hill.  

The origin of the Chenghuang Pavilion (城隍閣) is quite culturally famous. Cheng and Huang respectively mean the city wall and the channel of outside of city. (If you are interested, you can find more information in English here.) Next to Chenghuang Pavilion, there is the memorial temple of Zhou Xin, also known as the City God. He was a "Judicial Commissioner" of Zhejiang between 1403 and 1424 and for all the good he did for the people of Hangzhou, he is worshipped here. 

So, Wushan is famous because of the Chenghuang Pavilion that is situated on the northeastern end of it, but it has a larger other side at south-southwest to where tourist do not seem to wander much further. The other side is mostly a beautiful forest with limestone features and many paths across it, but there is also a smaller pavilion from where the view over West Lake and the city is just magnificent. It is called "Lake and river view pavilion" and it is situated on the so-called Wushan First Peak (吴山第一峰) - which is the highest peak of Wushan. Its name possibly comes from the time when there was still possible to see the river too. But now, the trees have overgrown the southern end of the peak and also, urbanisation has brought many large buildings in the area that block the view from the river. Still, it is a beautiful spot that is also free of charge - the entrance fee to Chenghuang Pavilion is 30 RMB as of May 2020 though there is more to explore besides a fantastic 360-degree view also known as the "Grand View of Wu Hill" (吴山大观)

Besides the beautiful forest and the outlook pavilion, the southern part also gives you the Zhejiang Memorial Hall of Revolutionary Martyrs (浙江革命烈士紀念館) with a big open space with a huge column-like monument, sculptures of martyrs in red sandstone, and a beautiful, green park. There is also a tiny cave called Qingyi (青衣洞), which is situated right next to the site of Chongyang temple (重阳庙). The spring inside the cave is named after the cave. Legend has it that during the Tang Dynasty, a Taoist monk saw a kid in grey clothes on go into the cave and then disappear without a trace. What was left was only the noise of wind and rain coming from inside the cave, so that is how the cave got its present name (qingyi means grey clothes).   

It is many things to see on Wushan and time can be well-spent there. It is now time for the pictures! Enjoy the walk on Wushan!

~ Laszlo

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Wushan First Peak (吴山第一峰) with the 'Lake and river view pavilion'

Qingyi cave (青衣洞) and Chongyang temple (重阳庙)

Chenghuang Pavilion or the City God Pavilion (城隍閣)

Wushan forest and the Zhejiang Memorial Hall of Revolutionary Martyrs (浙江革命烈士紀念館)

© All photos were taken by Laszlo Bokor (2020). The Sign Hunters, all rights reserved. 


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