Why is Canglang Pavilion special?
Also known as Great Wave Pavilion and Blue Wave Pavilion, Canglang Pavilion is the oldest of the UNESCO gardens in Suzhou that dated back to the Northern Song Dynasty. Attractive as it is, Canglang Pavilion focuses on the harmony between man-made buildings and the natural environment.
Great Wave Pavilion Highlight
The Canglang Pavilion was built in 1044 CE by the Song Dynasty poet Su Shunqing, on the site of a pre-existing imperial flower garden c 960 CE. It is keeping its original Song Dynasty layout.
The uniqueness of Canglang Pavilion derives partly from the fact that the garden is built around the body of water that was already present from the former garden, and partly from the attention to detail, where every effort has been made to make the illusion of sea and mountains look like miniaturized, or "bonsai", versions of the real thing.
The main buildings at Canglang Pavilion include: Mingdao Hall, Facing Water Veranda, Fishing Terrace, Five-Hundred Famous Ancient Sages Hall, and Mountain-Watching Building.
Mingdao Hall, in English meaning Enlightenment Hall, is the present-day garden's main building. This three-bay building was primary hall of the garden used as a lecture hall.
Facing Water Veranda
Facing Water Veranda is a perfect place where visitors can sip a cup of tea while relaxing and enjoying the surroundings.
Fishing Terrace, enjoying another English name “Fish Watching Place” is a square pavilion beside a pool where fish cruise about aimlessly. It is a square detached pavilion with a hipped gable roofline and flying eves.
Five-Hundred Famous Ancient Sages Hall
Five-Hundred Famous Ancient Sages Hall, also known as Temple of Five Hundred Sages, is an art gallery which displays the stone statues of some 600 ancient sages of the city of Suzhou, built by governor Tao Shu in 1827 to house his collection of 584 engravings of famous sages from Suzhou from the Spring and Autumn period until the Qing Dynasty.
Mountain-Watching Building, also known as Mountain-in-View Tower, whose quintessentially Chinese "flying eaves" (i.e., eaves with upturned corners) is one of the garden's most exquisitely constructed buildings and it offers a panoramic view of the entire garden complex.