Sights To Visit In Hangzhou

/Sights To Visit In Hangzhou

Sights To Visit In Hangzhou

Hangzhou is the capital of the Zhejiang province. It was Marco Polo’s favorite city and he in fact called it “without a doubt the finest and most splendid city in the world“. In ancient times, Hangzhou was one of the seven capitals of China and specifically, the capital of the kingdom of Wuyue, ruled by the Qian dynasty.

上 有 天堂, 下 有 苏杭 is a Chinese saying which means:

Up above there is Paradise, down here there are Suzhou and Hangzhou.

The West Lake is what makes this city famous. It is considered an example of scenic beauty and is cited in countless texts by Chinese poets. Legend says it that it was created by the fall of a pearl from the Milky Way.

In 2012, the West Lake was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Although the West Lake is the city’s main attraction, and the place where I spent most of my time, there are other sights in Hangzhou that are worth a visit. Here are the sights to visit in Hangzhou:

The Pagoda of the Six Harmonies

It is one of the best known monuments in Hangzhou. The pagoda, as it is today, consists of an internal section, thirteen floors high, of which seven floors are made of bricks and the remaining six are made of wood. It is about 60 meters high and has an octagonal shape. The first construction dated back to 970 CE and it had a height of 150 meters; perhaps it served as a beacon for boats sailing on the Qiantang River. In 1121 a fire destroyed it and in 1153 it was rebuilt using bricks. A unique feature of this pagoda is the presence of 104 bells, one for each corner of the octagonal roof of each floor (8 corners * 13 floors = 104 bells), whose beautiful sound resonates in the gentle breeze.

Linyin Temple

Lingyin Temple is a Buddhist temple and is also known as the Temple of the Soul’s Retreat. It houses numerous grottoes and pagodas and it is considered one of the largest Buddhist temples in China.

Yue Fei Temple

Yue Fei Temple is located near the West Lake. This temple was built in honor of Yue Fei, a general of the Southern Song dynasty. He fought against the Jurchen Jin Dynasty during the Jin-Song wars.

Leifeng Pagoda

Leifeng Pagoda is a five storey tower with eight sides, located on Sunset Hill south of the West Lake.

The Pagoda was built during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period in 975 AD. During the Ming dynasty, Hangzhou was attacked by Japanese pirates. They burned the pagoda, suspecting it contained weapons.

 

Leifeng Pagoda became popular because of the legend of the White Snake, a touching story about a girl who changed into a snake and a man. In the story, the couple was separated by an evil monk with magical powers who imprisoned the girl inside Leifeng Pagoda. The girl was finally rescued by her son who made the pagoda collapse.

 

 

2018-05-12T07:44:33+00:00 By |

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