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c a ngl a ng t ing SURGING WAVE PAVILION The Surging Wave Pavilion has the longest history of any of the remaining gardens in Suzhou with its conception dating from the Song Dynasty construction of the Canglang Ting, or Surging Wave Pavilion , alongside the canal that now fronts the north side of the garden. Canglang Ting, whose name is derived from a poem in the anthology Songs of Chu, is also known as the Deep Blue Wave Pavilion. A large hill, stretching east-west, occupies the middle of the garden and is encircled by the renowned winding corridors. The corridors rise and fall with the topography to make an experientially rich circumnavigation of the hill. The corridor along the canal, a notable double corridor, opens the garden to the city—a rare instance in Suzhou gardens where the walls of the garden do not fully exclude the immediate city outside the walls. BETWEEN THE WATER AND A MOUNTAIN The garden is approached across a canal bridge from which the corridors and pavilions west of the entrance can be seen. Like the hill described in The Story of the Stone, the three-hundred-year-old Chinese literary classic, the hill at Canglang Ting immediately confronts the visitor and causes one to divert around it. A character in the novel remarks on the fictive hill in surging wave pavilion 61 the novel, “If not for this hill, one would see the whole garden as soon as one ­ entered, and how tame that would be.” Upon entering Canglang Ting, move clockwise around the hill by first walking along the double corridor (note its 108 windows) that is compellingly situated between the canal outside the garden and the hill inside the garden—between water and mountain . At the northeast corner of the garden, where the double corridor ends, a small pavilion sits out over the canal with a panoramic view to the neighborhood beyond. HALLS AND COURTYARDS Continue to walk clockwise toward the halls and courtyards (see Pause and Observe) south of the hill. The Enlightenment Hall looks north toward the hill and south toward the courtyard. Adjacent to it is the Hall of Five Hundred Sages, which contains an important collection of carved portraits of five hundred sages. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Figure 39. Plan of the Surging Waves Pavilion, showing its relationship to the canal. 1. Entrance across the canal on a threebend bridge 2. Facing the Water Pavilion 3. Double Corridor 4. Watching Fish Pavilion 5. Memorial Hall for Five Hundred Scholars 6. Cup garden of deep pond and winding corridors 7. Surging Wave Pavilion 62 the gardens of suzhou CUP GARDEN On the west side of the garden, the corridor rises and falls like a rollercoaster as it wraps around a cup-shaped pond. Mounted on the corridor wall at the north end of this segment are imperial stele by the Emperor Kangxi surmounted with finely carved marble panels. THE HILL Climb atop the hill from which a prospect into the lower gardens and courtyards can be seen. The garden of Canglang Ting is unusual among the gardens of Suzhou in that an earthen, forested hill is at the center of the garden. With few exceptions, it is water that lies at the center of other gardens. Figure 40. A winding double corridor runs between the canal and the garden. surging wave pavilion 63 Figure 41. Paved stone courtyards commonly have four trees and pots of temperate climate plants. At the summit of the hill is the Surging Wave Pavilion, after which the garden is named. This pavilion was originally situated alongside the canal as part of the garden built by Su Shunqing. The pavilion was moved atop the hill during the garden renovation undertaken in the thirty-fifth year of the reign of Kangxi, in 1696. The graceful eaves of the pavilion turn up at the corners and reach a terminal height almost equal to the ridge of the roof. From this lofty position, one would expect an exceptional distant view, but the pair of halls to the south crowd together and obstruct any possible prospect south of the garden. Descend the hill on the east side and revisit the small pavilion in the northeast that overlooks the canal. Return to the gate along the double corridor by walking in and out along each side of the dividing wall. 64 the gardens of suzhou PAUSE AND OBSERVE: COURTYARDS Courtyards commonly lie at the center of...


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