Sunday, 16 November 2008


Lanting will forever hold great memories for me. There are two parts to the famous Lanting - the area where hundreds of students and families meet each weekend for barbeques, and the famous place that has a very long history, although I understand it has been recreated here, and may not be the original place.

According to Planetware

"The Orchid Pavilion, set in impressive natural scenery with bamboo woods and winding streams, is situated 14km/9mi to the southwest of the city. A stele with an inscription by the Emperor Kangxi (reigned: 1662-1723) is housed in the pavilion. Outside the pavilion a picturesque little lake extends for some 30m/32yd. In the center of this lake is a stone tablet with two ideograms which, roughly translated, mean ''goose pond''. They are attributed to Wang Zizhi, who in the year 335 wrote the famous ''Preface to the Orchid Pavilion Poetry Collection''. The pavilion was therefore already in existence in the 4th C."

I understand that in woods near a stream a number of poets gathered. They were sitting beside a stream and drinking wine, and the bowls of wine were floated in the little stream and when the bowl reached one of the poets or writers he was obliged to write something. This was all done writing Chinese characters or calligraphy, and is believed to be one of the oldest pieces of calligraphy in existence.

Another website Yoyo says:

"The garden nestles against green hills covered with luxuriant trees and dense bamboo groves. Around Lanting are murmuring crystal-clear streams . In the garden the five architectures-the Geese Pond Pavilion, the Wine -cup Floating Pavilion, the Lanting Tablet, the Imperial Stone Tablet Pavilion and the Right Wine-cup Floating Pavilion, the Lanting Tablet, the Imperial Stone Tablet Pavilion and the Right Wing Army General Temple are fine works of art.

As you can guess it is a very famous place. My photo above is of the bigger lake that is near the barbeque area, but I do enjoy seeing the place where the poetry was written, with little cane seats around the meandering stream, and it is a wonderful experience to sit and imagine what it was like all those hundreds of years ago when the poetry was written.

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