Fengcheng River Scenic Area
Brief introduction / BRIEF INTRODUCTION
Located in the downtown of Taizhou City, the Fengcheng River Scenic Area is a national AAAA-level scenic area with both natural and cultural sights, a great attraction for tourists around the world. Features of watertowns in south China find full expression in this scenic area surrounded by water. The Wanghai Building by Fengcheng River, known as the “No. 1 building in Jianghuai region”, and its unique traditional opera reflect the profound cultural foundation of this city. Centering on the Wanghai Building, this scenic area has the Peach Garden and the Old Street set off each other. First built in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the Wanghai Building has won valued pieces of calligraphy or painting from numerous men of letters. Boating on the river, one can listen to a melodious traditional Chinese opera to enjoy relaxation and enlightenment brought by this old city and appreciate the graceful bearing and glamour of this watertown. By the Fengcheng River, this scenic area completely shows the charm of a riverside city unusual in the country, and highlights the long history of Taizhou.
Main attractions of Fengcheng River Scenic Area:
It is the core attraction of Fengcheng River Scenic Area. First built in the Song Dynasty, it was also rebuilt in flourishing ages, a magnificent symbol of the Jianghuai region. Wen Huaisha (born in 1910), a famous master of Chinese culture, praised it as the “No. 1 building in Jianghuai region”. According to historical records, the Wenhui Hall west of the Building was first built by Teng Zijing (990-1047) in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). It preserves the historical materials of five Northern Song officials who first administered Taizhou and later were promoted to be prime minister. They are Yan Shu, Fan Zhongyan, Fu Bi, Han Qi and Luv Yijian. The “Five Prime Minister Trees” and bronze statue of Fan Zhongyan made by Wu Weishan, president of China Academy of Sculpture, are found in front of the Hall. Moreover, the ruins of the old city proper with a history of over one thousand years, the culverts of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and other scenic spots in the scenic area fully show the history of Taizhou which was first built in the Southern Tang Dynasty (937-975), enjoyed cultural prosperity in the Northern Song Dynasty and had famous prime ministers.
Located on the eastern bank of the Nancheng River of Taizhou, the Peach Garden is a theme park to commemorate the completion of The Peach Blossom Fan by Kong Shangren (1648-1718), a famous dramatist of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), in Taizhou. The Chen’an (Chen’s Residence) where Kong Shangren completed the play book titled The Peach Blossom Fan, the Plum Garden in commemoration of Mei Lanfang and the Willow Garden famous for storytelling in local dialect are on the same line, forming a “village of three great masters of traditional Chinese operas”. Chen’an rebuilt in the architectural style of the Ming and Qing Dynasties is the core scenic spot in the Peach Garden. Buildings of Chen’an are distributed in three rows; and some of them are two-storied. Texts, pictures and furniture of the Ming and Qing Dynasties therein reproduce the scene that Kong Shangren created The Peach Blossom Fan during the water-control period. At that time, Kong was an official of Taizhou. There are over 116 species of ornamental peach trees, totaling more than 3,600. The flowering period lasts from mid-March to late April, during which, grand Peach Flower Festival is held. Pleasure boats in the river mainly berth at the wharf at the southern end of the scenic area. The waterside pavilion extends northward to the Peach Blossom Island. Two bridges named “Yinlong” and “Shisheng” link the island and the bank. To the west of Chen’an lies a stone boat with an age-old stage for traditional opera performance or activities of amateur performers. North of Chen’an is the Qingfeng Pavilion, built by Taizhou Prefect Zeng Zhiyao in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) according to historical records. The Ouhua Sandbank is below the Phoenix Mound and by the Qingfeng Pavilion. Laifeng Building stands on the Phoenix Mound.
Mei Lanfang Mei Lanfang Memorial Museum Memorial Museu
Mei Lanfang Memorial Museum is located on the Phoenix Mound in the downtown of Taizhou, surrounded by water on three sides. Filled with green trees, the museum is exquisite and elegant. The scenic spot has: entry zone, square with the sitting statue of Mei Lanfang, historical data exhibition area, gallery of Peking opera knowledge, antique stage, Mei Lanfang Memorial Pavilion and Plum Garden, waterside pavilion and exit zone. The entry zone is located on the Yingchun Road. The white marble statue of Mei Lanfang is close to the entry zone, in the center of the terraced square. The exit zone is composed of a small garden, entrance, memorial gateway of the Plum Garden and parking lot. The historical data exhibition area shows new exhibitions. Based on the existing historical data exhibition hall, modern multimedia means such as sound, light, electricity and video are adopted to display data. There is antique stage for performance. The gallery of Peking opera knowledge presents texts and pictures on Peking opera performance. The waterside pavilion by the Dongcheng River to the west of the memorial museum is one among the attractions along the Fengcheng River. Other attractions include the Wanghai Building, Plum Garden, Donghe Park and Riverside Square.
Located in the core section of the urban area of Taizhou, Qiaoyuan Garden is a private garden built in the Wanli Period (1573-1620) of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), later owned by Huainan and Huaibei Salt Controller Qiao Songnian, thus its name. With a history of over 430 years, it is the earliest classical garden extant in north Jiangsu. The Qiaoyuan Garden is divided into the core scenic area, secondary scenic area, supplementary scenic area and residential compound. The core scenic area retains the original style of the garden, including Shanxiang Cottage, Yinchao Pavilion, Gengji Hall and Songchui Pavilion, etc. The secondary scenic area in the west of the garden is separated from the core scenic area with courtyards, with such attractions as Laiqing Pavilion, Jieluv Mountain Villa, Jiaoyu Pavilion, Wuyun Pavilion, Shilin Biejing Path and Erfen Bamboo House.
Xuezheng Test Institute
It is located west of the government seat of Hailing District and Gulou Road and north of Fuqian Road. It was the Yongning Palace in the Southern Tang Dynasty (937-975), the Court of Censors in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and rebuilt into “Xuezheng Test Institute” in the Kangxi era (1662-1722) of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). From Kangxi era to Guangxu era (1875-1908) of the Qing Dynasty, it was the examination venue of Xiucai candidates from eight counties under Yangzhou – Jiangdu, Ganquan, Yizheng, Baoying, Gaoyou, Xinghua, Taizhou and Dongtai, thus its name. There is Chuigu Pavilion, Yimen Gate, Kaohao, principal hall, main rooms, eastern and western buildings, etc. The spectacle of the examination participated in by over one thousand Xiucai candidates in ancient China is reproduced via historical pictures and material objects. The Xuezheng Test Institute is the largest of its kind in China, a witness in kind to the imperial examination system of ancient China and also a fact that Taizhou was ever one of the important cultural centers in Jianghuai region.
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