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Canglang Pavilion

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Canglang Pavilion (Blue Wave Pavilion) lies at No.3 Canglangting Street, Renming Road. 'Canglang (blue waves)' comes from a famous sentence in The Mencius and The Songs of Chu (Chu Ci), 'the blue wave is clear I can wash the ribbons on my hat; when the blue wave is muddy, I still can wash my feet' (one should adapt to the environment).

The pavilion was initially built in the Northern Song Dynasty (960 - 1127), reputedly by a demoted poet named Su Shunqin. In 1044, when Su Shunqin moved here, he bought a deserted garden and built a pavilion on a hill north of the garden. He named the pavilion Canglang Pavilion and wrote a poem about it, and asked the famous writer, Ouyang Xiu, to also write a poem for the pavilion. Su Shunqin regularly used to meet his friends and write poems in the pavilion. Thereafter, Canglang Pavilion became very famous.

Elegant and simple in design, the pavilion is situated on the top of a hill and is surrounded by giant trees several hundred-year-old. The main views around the pavilion are hills and rocks which are circled by halls. Outside of the garden is a pond which is connected to the hills inside by an undulating corridor. The hills, rocks and pavilions in the garden blend perfectly with the pond when viewed hrough the ornamental carved windows along the corridor. It is said that there are all together 108 different styles of delicately carved windows of various patterns in the garden. They represent the typical carved windows among all the Suzhou gardens.

The garden where Canglang Pavilion lies is one of the grandest and oldest gardens still existing in Suzhou. It is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. During its hundreds of years of history, the garden has been abandoned and reconstructed many times. The extant garden was built in 1873, the 12th year of the Emperor Tongzhi, in the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911). It has retained the style of the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279). Apart from the pavilion, there are many other attractions in the garden, such as Mingdao Hall, Cuilinglong Hall, and the 500 Celebrities' Hall.

 Mingdao Hall
Lying along the main axis of the garden, Mingdao Hall is the major building. It was used as a lecture hall for the literati in the Ming (1368 - 1644) and Qing Dynasties. Shaded by hills and ancient trees, the hall is splendid and solemn. There are three tablet rubbings of from the Song Dynasty on the wall - an astrological chart, a geographical map from the Song Dynasty, and a map of Suzhou in the Song Dynasty.  

 Cuilinglong Hall
It is said that bamboo has been the traditional plant associated with Cuilinlong Hall since it was built by Su Shunqin. It is the very place where men of letters wrote poems and painted pictures, surrounded by about 20 kinds of bamboos. In sympathy with the view outside, the furniture in the hall is all carved with bamboo knots.

 500 Celebrities' Hall
Situated at the northwest of the garden, and neighboring Mingdao Hall and Cuilinglong Hall, the 500 Celebrities' Hall is one of the major buildings in the garden. The five rooms of the hall face the south, and on the walls of the three central rooms are carved images of 549 celebrities and officials from the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC) to the Qing Dynasty. In the midst of the carvings, there is a stele inscribed with three characters 'Zuo Zhi Shi', meaning the celebrities were regarded as the models for the local people.

 Entrance Fee: 
CNY 20 (Apr. 16th to Oct. 30th)
CNY 15 (Oct. 31st to Apr. 15th) 

 Opening Hours: 08:00 - 17:00 

Take Bus No. 1, 39 (30), 101, 102, 103, 308, 309, or Tourism Bus No. 2, 4, or 5 and get off at Canglang Pavilion stop.

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