The Du Fu Thatched Cottage
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The Du Fu Thatched Cottage, located by the Huanhua Brook in the western suburb of Chengdu, is the former residence of the prominent Chinese poet of Tang Dynasty (AD618-907), Du Fu to avoid the chaos of An-Shi Rebellion in the winter of AD759, he trekked across the border of Gansu along with his family, and arrived in Chengdu where he built a thatched cottage. During the four years he stayed here, Du Fu left behind over 240 poems.
The cottage has been regarded as a Holy Land in the history of Chinese literature. During the Five Dynasties (AD907-960), poet Wei Zhuang found and rebuilt it, so that it has been well preserved. Renovations were made during the subsequent dynasties of Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing (AD960-1911) as well. The cottage has become a form of commemorative shrine and old residence, a classic and elegant cultural Mecca which dotted with tranquil and lush gardens. It has become one of the first National Key Culture Preservation Units designated by the State Council in March, 1961. The museum was established in May, 1985, as the largest, the most unique and famous, and the best protective relic of the poet Du Fu.
Today, the cottage is located in an area of nearly 300mu, with its well-protected structure which is dated to the reign of Emperor Jiaqing of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The garden is Chinese classic style but blended with various elements across the nation. The museum is composed of Cultural Relics Scenic Spot (Old Site), Garden Scenic Spot (Plum Garden), and Service Center (Thatched Cottage Temple). Inside the Old Site, the Screen Wall, Main Entrance, Grand Lobby, Firewood Gate and Gongbu Shrine lie along the central axis, while symmetrical winding corridors and accessory buildings are located on the both sides of the axis. The Site is decorated as dignified, peaceful, elegant, classic and charming by the crystal clear waters, old wooden bridges, and the shadowy bamboos. The Shaoling Tablet Pavilion which locates at the east of the Gongbu Shrine is a symbol of the museum, a best-known sight in Chengdu.
Behind the Gongbu Shrine, the Thatched Cottage Scenic Spot is reconstructed in accordance with Du Fu’s poems and the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) architectural style, which creates a pastoral and poetic atmosphere. Inside the Miniature Garden is the Exhibition Corridor of Du Fu’s Poems in Woodcarving completed in 1999, where more than 100 woodcut calligraphy pieces are displayed. These were selected from thousands of authentic calligraphy masterpieces collected by the museum, inscribed carefully onto the wood of nanmu, a special Chinese wood which has a high appreciative value. The poetry, calligraphy, material, and craft have been named Four Wonders. The largest color ceramic glaze lacquer fresco (64 square meters) in China, and Statues of twelve distinguished Chinese poets which are shown inside of the Hall of Odes, the former Fan’an Temple. These exhibits portray the life of Du Fu vividly as well as the development of classical Chinese poetry. The hall’s highlighted work The Sage Poet with Verses Enlightening the Ages was awarded the Best Originality Prize of the 5th National Top Ten Displays. The vigor and greatness are shown through the modern display and vivid expressions of the work. Moreover, the Literature and Photo Exhibition of the Beloved Thatched Cottage displays the pictures, signatures, inscriptions, and presents contributed by government officials, distinguished foreign guests, and the big shots from home and abroad.
The Tang Charm Experience Center is for developing and selling souvenirs, next to it is the Poetry, Calligraphy and Painting Academy which houses, acquires and sells calligraphies and paintings, serving as a high-end platform for the development of excellent traditional culture and culture industry.
The Exhibition Hall of Cultural Relics of the Tang Dynasty is situated at the northeast of the museum. At the end of 2001, a site dating back to the Tang Dynasty along with several artifacts was unearthed, confirming the right location of the museum, adding to its significance, and echoing with the environment featured in the poet sage’s poems. On top of that, it increases the level of attracting to tourists.
The Pagoda of Buddhas, reconstructed in 2005, is located in the east of museum among the Nanmu Forest. It has restored the scene as a poem says, Chengdu, is the “Chongli Pavilion in the east and the Pagoda of Buddhas in the west” as the historically and culturally famous city in China. Leaning on a railing and gazing into the distance to have a panoramic view from the building, is another unique symbol and highlight of the museum for cultural tourism.
Today’s Thatched Cottage of Du Fu with its rich historical and cultural connotations and fresh new looks, welcomes friends from home and abroad.
Address: No. 37, Qinghua Road, Qingyang District, Chengdu City
TEL: +86 – 2887319258
Admission: RMB 60/person
Tourist Guide: hotline: 028—87312744
Public Transportation: Bus No. 19, 35, 58, 59, 82, 165, 170, 309 and 319