Located on the south bank of Jinjiang River at East Gate, Chengdu, Wangjiang Pavilion Park is renowned worldwide for its cultural heritage: the ancient architectural complex of Wangjiang Pavilion and Xue Tao Memorial and its unique collections of rare bamboos. Covering a floor area of 188 mu, the Park, comprising Heritage Conservation Area (39 mu) and Open Area (149 mu), was built in memory of Xue Tao, a poet living in the Tang Dynasty. It is now a major historical and cultural site protected at the national level.
Standing by the Jinjiang River, Chongli Pavilion, a 27.9m-high all-wood structure, is one of the park’s major structures. Its name “Chongli” is derived from the verse “Beautiful (li in Chinese) and sublime (chong in Chinese)---it is named Chengdu.” from Ode to Chengdu by Zuo Si, a scholar from the Jin Dynasty. Adjacent to Jinjiang River, it is widely known as “Wangjiang Pavilion (River-overlooking Pavilion)”. The God of Literature that administers the ranks of the imperial examination is enshrined at the Pavilion.
Surrounded by luxuriant and well-spaced flowers and trees, Zhuojin Pavilion, with five principle columns and doors and windows on four sides, is elegant and stately. Inside the boat-shaped Pavilion are showcased rosewood furniture from the Ming and Qing dynasties and ancient building components.
Yinshi Pavilion was built at the site of the residence where Xue Tao spent her twilight years. Shadowed by willows and bamboos near the river, the three-part pavilion, with open verandas on four sides, is quite poetic. Its ground floor hall is full of paintings depicting Xue Tao chanting poetry with famous poets such as Yuan Zhen, Bai Juyi, Du Mu, and Liu Yuxi.
In Wuyunxian Pavilion showcases wood slabs carved with Xue Tao’s poems in various styles by renowned calligraphers.
In the exquisitely designed Huanjian Pavilion, paper and letter paper making technologies from Tang Dynasty are showcased.
With wood lattice windows, Qingwan Cottage is primitive and strikingly simplified. Inside it one can find an eulogy on a portrait of Xue Tao composed by the Qing poet Chen Ju and inscriptions on Wangjiang Pavilion and Xue Tao composed by Qing scholars
The 700-square-meter Xue Tao Memorial features a modern design and has a collection of historical materials on Xue Tao’s life stories and poems.
Xue Tao Well, located in the south of Chongli Pavilion, is the place where the Seignior of Sichuan in the Ming Dynasty imitated Xue Tao paper. The three characters “Xue Tao Jing (Xue Tao Well)” were written by Ji Yingxiong, the Magistrate of Chengdu at the time, in the sixth year of the Kangxi Period of Qing Dynasty. There are also memorial buildings such as Quanxiang Pavilion and Pipa Lane in the Heritage Conservation Area, all exquisitely arranged and boasting valuable collections of inscriptions, tablets, painting and etc.
Built in 1984, the Statue of Xue Tao is situated beside Xue Tao Memorial and in the depth of the Duzu Garden. The 3m-high white marble statue stands on a carpet of green grass.
Xue Tao’s Tomb, renovated in October 1994, comprises tombstone, principal part, foundation platform and inscription. The tombstone reads, “The grave of Xue Hongdu, a talented female of the Tang Dynasty” (Hongdu is Xue Tao’s courtesy name).
Duzhu Garden, built in 1995, is home to a variety of bamboos.
The Open Area of Wangjiang Pavilion Park is a bamboo theme park with the richest collection of bamboo species in China. Xue Tao loved bamboos and described them as “upright and resilient”. To commemorate Xue Tao, later generations have planted various species of bamboos all over the garden. There are 200-odd species from home and abroad, including rare species. The bamboos in the garden, represented by Bambusa chungii, Phyllostachys aurea, Bambusa ventricosa and Fargesia ungulata, take different forms and yet are in perfect harmony. They crowd together or interweave to form a corridor. People thus call this garden with a sea of bamboos and endless fun and elegance the “Park of Bamboos”.