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Home Hangzhou Attractions Ten Classic Views of West Lake Quyuan Fenghe

Quyuan Fenghe (Breeze-ruffled Lotuses at the Winding Garden) Introduction


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Quyuan Fenghe(曲院风荷, Breeze-ruffled Lotuses at the Winding Garden) ranks the second site among the ten top classic views in Hangzhou West Lake Scenic Area. Today’s name at the gate was inscribed by Mao Dun(茅盾, 1896-1981), a famous writer in modern China. Originally named Quyuan(麯院, which seen from the character, it released a history of this site – a place of making alcohol or wine, because Qu is comprised of two parts respectively麦and曲, both of which are the raw material for wine production and the tool for making wine), it is located at the site that the water of Jinshajian(金沙涧, the gully of gold sand, which is the largest natural headwater of West Lake) flows into the West Lake.

The History of Quyuan Fenghe

In Southern Song Dynasty, the imperial wine-making workshops were established here. The lotuses are planted in lake. In summer, as the breeze ruffled, and fragrance of lotus and wine spread widely, and the travelers felt quite comfortable and drunk. At the time, Ma Yuan【马远, 1140-1225, whose courtesy name was Yaofu and humble name was Qinshan, was a considerably famous imperial painter in the reign of Emperor Guangzong of Southern Song Dynasty. He together with Li Tang(李唐), Liu Songnian(刘松年) and Xia Gui(夏圭) boasted Four Top Painting Masters of Southern Song Dynasty, and his paintings mainly showed the elites’ life and tradition represented by Tagetu(踏歌图, Painting of Tage, which was a popular rite to say goodbye to friends who went away by water), Shuitu(水图, the painting of water, which was incomparably considered as the most powerful and holy object in elite culture of China), Meishixifutu(梅石溪凫图, the painting of the plum, stone, stream and wild duck), Xiyuanyajitu(西园雅集图, the painting of cultural elite’s party in West Garden, which was a symbol of elites in history of China culture) and Kongqiutu(孔丘图, the painting of Confucius)】listed it as one of ten classic views of West Lake when they showed the highlights of West Lake.

The Wrong Writing of Emperor Kangxi of Qing Dynasty

Unfortunately, it was ruined for a long time till Emperor Kangxi’s arrival. Emperor Kangxi inscribed the name for it, and since then this site was extensively well known. In details, there is an interesting story here. Originally, Quyuan Fenghe actually was written to be “麯院荷风”, when Emperor Kangxi arrived here, it was unintentionally written to be today’s characters(曲院风荷). It is a wrongdoing out of question, due to his indulgence into the beauty of West Lake. However, it was not spoken out. Nobody dared to point it out. In feudal times, Emperor was the god of people with the supreme power. What they did or wrote was absolutely and eternally right and the representation of the motive of the heaven. However, it was indeed a wrong writing, and surely lots of common people secretly sneered at Emperor Kangxi. Emperor Qianlong, the grandson of Emperor Kangxi, made sense of it, and also inscribed a poem on the opposite side of the inscription stele of Emperor Kangxi. Two verses of the poem showed the intention of Emperor Qianlong to protect his grandfather like this -

莫惊误字传新谤 – Don’t slander Emperor Kangxi for his wrong writing
恶旨崇情大禹同 – He as great as Da Yu hates the wine the controls the ardor

But this surely could not justify the wrongdoing of Emperor Kangxi. As the time goes, the wrong-written name gradually accepted and became the authorities standard.

The Tourist Value of Quyuan Fenghe

Quyuan Fenghe is a traditional view of ten top classic sights. The valuable sites in this scenic zone are highlighted with the historic stele pavilion of Emperor Kangxi, Yue Lake, a part of West Lake, Guozhuang Garden, Zhusu Garden, Fenghe Site, Quyuan Garden, and Lakeside Forest Zone. The total area is up to 426 mu, and it becomes the largest park surrounding the west lake. The famous sites like Memorial Temple of General Yue Fei, Hangzhou Botanical Garden, Jiangnan Literature Society House are all located near to it. The most famous part is the performance of Impression West Lake, which is available everyday

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Editor: Julius from Mildchina
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