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Hangzhou has got 6.4 million inhabitants and it is the capital of the province Zhejiang. Hangzhou was founded during the Qin Dynasty (221 BC - 206 BC). During the Sui Dynasty (581 - 618) Hangzhou became famous, because the Grand Canal was built. The Grand Canal connects Beijing with Hangzhou. When the Jurchens conquered North China in 1127 the emperor house fled south and Hangzhou became the capital of China. In this time Hangzhou had got over one million inhabitants. A Chinese proverb compares Hangzhou and Suzhou with the paradise. In Hangzhou there are many tea plantations. One of the best teas in China comes from Hangzhou - the Dragon's Well Tea. The West Lake is very nice. The West Lake has got a surface of 5.6 km2. A legend tells us that the West Lake originated during a fight between a dragon and a phoenix with the heaven goddess. According to this legend a pearl fell from the heaven to the earth and the West Lake originated. The famous Chinese poets Bai Juyi (772 - 846) and Su Dongpo (1037 - 1101) were both governors of Hangzhou and they let build two dikes in the West Lake. Near the West Lake there is the Leifeng Pagoda. It was built in 975. During the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) the Leifeng Pagoda was burned by Japanese invaders. In 2002 it was completely rebuilt. In the north of the West Lake there is the Baochu Pagoda. It was built during the 10th century and during history it was destroyed and rebuilt several times. On the West Lake there are also some islands. The biggest island is Gushan. On Gushan there is the Museum of Zhejiang and a pavilion which was built by Emperor Qianlong in the 18th century. The Broken Bridge which is on the West Lake is also famous. The Linyinsi (Temple of the Soul's Retreat) in Hangzhou is also very famous. The Buddhist monk Huili, from India, has founded this temple in 328. One of the mountains of the Lingyinsi reminded the monk of one mountain in his homeland, in India, and he was of the opinion that this mountain had here-flown. Until today this mountain is called "Here-Flown Mountain". In the Lingyinsi there are many Buddhist sculptures which are carved into rocks. In the halls of the Lingyinsi there are big Buddhist figures. The biggest figure is a Shakyamuni which is 9.1 m high and sits on a lotus throne. In the 10th century this temple was much bigger and about 3000 monks lived there. The Six Harmonies Pagoda in Hangzhou is also very interesting. It was built in 970. The timber cladding of this pagoda was renewed several times, but the brick core is from the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279). This pagoda is 60 m high and has got 13 floors. Behind the pagoda there is a nice temple.

Leifeng Pagoda
The Leifeng Pagoda

Lingyinsi Temple
The Lingyinsi Temple

Six Harmonies Pagoda
The Six Harmonies Pagoda

Author and Webmaster: Lukas Czarnecki

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Last Update: 03.08.2006