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Travelling to Du Fu Thatched Cottage

 2014-04-08    BNC2014    Sights    Chengdu    1702  

I had learned some Chinese classic poems few years ago, such as Tang poems and Song poetry, I could repeat some of them from my memory. Du Fu’s Three Officials, Three Departures were my favorite poems during my youth ages. For me, they were precious. Du Fu’s poems showed his heartily sympathies to ordinary people who suffered a lot and expressed disaffection with the government. Du Fu was one of those eminent poets and his poems existed and circulated for thousand years. He lived at the transitional period of Tang Dynasty. Due to war, he had to resign and came to Chengdu. I wanted to learn more about this representative poet, and visited the Du Fu Thatched Cottage during Chinese Spring Festival in 2012.

It was located at the western suburbs of Chengdu, where used to be Du Fu’s former residence. It included six parts: the Front Gate, the Lobby, the Thatched Pavilion, the Gongbu Shrine, the Water Pavilion, and the Historical Poetry. The main entrance usually was called Huanhuaxi, where there was a stream nearby. It was said that the name was closely bound up with a wonderful folk story. The horizontal board on the top of the main entrance gate inscribed two Chinese characters and it read: “CaoTang”. A couplet hung on the entrance which hinted the original location of the cottage.
The guide told visitors that Daxie meant lobby, it was a working space for ancient officials. In the center of the lobby, there was a bronze sculpture of Du Fu and he posed in a kneeling position, with a book in his hand and I photographed here. In the middle of the Historical Poetry Hall, there was a sculpture of him, and a couplet hung on the both sides. When I walked out of there, crossed a stream, I saw a water pavilion.

Gongbu was a rank that gave to the official, who took charge of local industry, after his death, people built a shrine to worship him. The Gongbu shrine was not a big hall, a figure in the middle of it, and flanked by Huang Tingjian and Lu You and they were also the famed poets in Song Dynasty. I was wondering why they were accompanied with Du Fu, it was assumed by other visitors and some explanation were rational. Two venerable Qing Dynasty stone tablets revealed the historical rudiment about the refurbishment. On the left side of Gongbu Shrine, I saw a straw-roofed pavilion, as if I could see Du Fu lived a simple life here in those days. A passerby helped me to take a picture here for a good memory. The guide told us the Du Fu Cottage had a great number of collections. I was also stroke by its remarkable landscape, beautiful and quiet environment and thick and thriving bamboos. It was picturesque and would linger in the heart of every tourist. It gave me solid understanding of Du Fu as well as I enjoyed a very satisfied experience during my time staying in Chengdu.


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