Saturday, May 15, 2010

CHINA - Slender West Lake : Fishing Terrasse

CHINA stamps

Location of YANGZHOU in CHINA

The Slender West Lake is situated in the northwest suburb of Yangzhou City in Jiangsu Province. Originally a natural river course, the lake gradually became a scenic area following continuous harnessing through the dynasties. The beauty of the Slender West Lake lies in the meandering lake and simple and unsophisticated constructions. Touring along the lake on a boat, one is fascinated by the changing scenery. Main sights on the lake include the Spring Willows Along the Long Causeway, the Xuyuan Garden, Plum Hill in Late Spring, Yueguan, Chuitai, Clouds Flowing over the Water, the White Pagoda, and the Five Pavilion Bridge, etc.

The Slender West Lake is 4.3 kilometers in total length with an area of over 30 hectares. The Long Causeway is on the western bank of the lake, extending about one hundred meters. Weeping willows that alternate with peach trees, growing all along the causeway. Spring Willows along the Long Causeway is among the 24 Sights of Yangzhou City. At the end of the Long Causeway is the Xuyuan Garden, an ancestral temple in the old days. Lying in the garden, a limpid pool is planted fully with lotus and surrounded by various rockeries.

The Xiaojin Hill (Little Golden Hill), an islet in the lake, was built in the middle period (1644-1742) of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). During the Qing Dynasty, in order to open a water channel connecting the Slender West Lake and the Daming Monastery, a canal was excavated in the northwest side of the lake. The mud excavated from the river course was piled up to form a small hill that we can still see today, namely the Xiaojin Hill. A pavilion named Wind Pavilion, located at the top of the hill, is the highest spot in this scenic area.

The Five-Pavilion Bridge rests on the lake, just like a belt. It gained its name from the five pavilions built on it. Elaborate in its structure and magnificent in its decorations, this bridge has become a mark along the tour route of Yangzhou City. Built in the Qing Dynasty, it was specially designed for Emperor Qianlong's inspection tour. The Five-Pavilion Bridge has an elegant appearance and possesses the characters of architecture in both northern China and southern China. Its yellow tiles and red columns supported by white balusters have the architectural feature in southern China while its thick piers have the architectural feature in northern China. Besides, it is also a harmonious combination of the garden architecture and bridge architecture.

Another island lying in the lake is Fuzhuang (Mallard Village), a construction built on the waterside and looking like a mallard swimming in the lake from the distant. The White Pagoda, which is an imitation of the Beihai White Pagoda in Beijing, lies south of the Five-Pavilion Bridge.


The Fishing Terrace is a small square pavilion built at the end of a slender peninsula extending into the lake. The pavilion has circular windows on three sides and if you position yourself carefully you can get a view of the White Pagoda, on the left, and of the Five Pavilion Bridge on the center window. Both the pagoda and bridge were modelled on structures found in Beijing. This place was a favourite retreat of Qing Emperor Qianl Long to do a spot of fishing.

Slender West Lake is in Tentative List of UNESCO Heritage ; that means that China intends to consider this property for nomination during the following years.


Date of submission : 28/03/2008

Slender West Lake, formerly Baozhang Lake, is located in the northwest of Yangzhou City, Jiangsu Province, covering an area of two square kilometers. In the mid-18th century, the moats and a large number of suburban villas of salt traders along the moats built in different locations and in different historical period (Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties) were connected elaborately and delicately to welcome the south inspection of Emperor Qianlong, thus forming a beautiful belt of the lake with garden scenery combining natural and human landscapes characterized by the most famous 24 scenes of "rolling stone archway, winding water in west park, spring pillow on the long bank, bright cloud in white pagoda" etc. The typical layout of Chinese scroll-type picture was recorded by royal painters and filed in imperial storehouse due to its unique aesthetic value. Thanks to the impact of the south inspections by Emperor Qianlong and the support of its salt economy, Yangzhou had became the garden-building centre in China, represented by classical garden cluster around the Slender West Lake. As well-known as "Yangzhou Gardens is second to none in South China" and "Yangzhou Gardens is the best in China", it embodies the most advanced art in terms of layout, architecture, stone laying, water conservation, plant arrangement, etc. As a masterpiece in garden-building after Yuanmingyuan Park during the reign of Emperor Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty, a lot of experiences can be drawn from it in the construction of the Chengde Mountain Resort.


Postcard sent by Miao Chen , as "MiaoChen"
Private swap - Reference CN005

Slender West Lake - Fishing Terrasse


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