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Canglang Pavillion

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Canglang Pavillion, Suzhou attraction

Brief Introduction
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 the oldest among the existing classical gardens in Suzhou and 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). Situated in the southwest quadrant of the city, it is located directly to the west of the Confucian temple. The garden underwent numerous renovations in the centuries to follow, but retains its essential form.

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History of Canglang Pavilion
In 1044, or the fourth year of the Qingli reign of the Song Dynasty, Su Shunqin, a renowned poet, had this pavilion built by the water and wrote an article entitled "Notes on Canglang 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. The verse alludes to an honest official who removes himself from politics rather than act in a corrupt manner. Su Shunqing choose this to express his feelings after his removal from office. After his death the garden passed through many owners. Between the 13th and 14 centuries, the estate served as a Buddhist monastery and during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) it is reverted to private ownership. In 1955 the garden was opened to the public and in 2000 it was added to the UNESCO world cultural heritage monuments.

What to see in Canglang Pavilion
The Mingdao Hall
The Mingdao Hall, or Enlightened Way Hall, located to the south of the mountains, is the major building of the garden. The hall is named after a line by Su Shunqin, "He who turns a blind eye and a deaf ear to what is evil will be enlightened" from A Record of the Great Wave Pavilion. It was said to have been a site for lectures during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Surrounded by verdant trees, it appears simple but dignified. On the walls of the hall hang three rubbings of the Song Dynasty steles, which are pictures of astronomy, Song Dynasty vehicles and a map of Pingjiang (today's Suzhou) in the Song Dynasty. Inside the hall there is a wall inlaid with more than 500 stone statuaries of figures related to the history of Suzhou.

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Fish Watching Place
Named after a famous dialectic conversation between Zhuang Zi about fish which. It is a square detached pavilion with a hipped gable roofline and flying eves. It is unique for being located outside the garden walls. It is connected to the garden by a double roofed corridor which runs above a rockery abstractly depicting the 500 Arhats.

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.

Great Wave Pavilion
Named after the line from songs of the south, it is the namesake of the garden. The pavilion was moved from its original location of the Fengxi Stream by Song Luo when he rebuilt the garden. It has a unique all stone construction, and uses flower brackets. It is square with a hipped gable roofline and flying eves, as well as a raised ridge, which are all richly decorated. A pillar couplet has been formed by one verse from Ouyang Xiu's The Canglang Pavilion, and Su Shunqin's Passing by Suzhou, "The refreshing breeze and the bright moon are priceless; and water nearby and hills afar how beautifully they rate". This composite couplet was composed by a governor named Liang Zhangju, in honor of the garden.

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500 Famous Ancient Sages Hall
Situated at the northwest of the garden, and neighboring Enlightened Way Hall and Cuilinglong Hall, the 500 Famous Ancient Sages Hall is another major buildings in the garden. Built by a governor Tao Shu in 1827 to house his collection of 584 engravings of famous sages from Suzhou from the Spring and Autumn period (770 - 476 BC) until the Qing Dynasty.In the midst of the carvings, there is a stele inscribed with three Chinese characters 'Zuo Zhi Shi', meaning the celebrities were regarded as the models for the local people.

Transportation
Bus Routes: 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.
Taxi Routes: Take a taxi to No.3 Canglangting Street

Travel Guide
1.Opening Time: Daily 08:00 - 17:00
2.Admission Fee: CNY 20 (Apr. 16th to Oct. 30th)
                          CNY 15 (Oct. 31st to Apr. 15th)
3.Address: No.3 Canglangting Street in Suzhou, Jiangsu
4.Recommended Time for Visit: 1 Hour 

Recommended Suzhou Tours including Canglang Pavilion
1. Full Day Suzhou Tour of Garden Exploration

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