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Leifeng Pagoda as an important cultural and historic attraction in the West Lake Scenic Area is quite familiar and well-known both in Chinese folk culture and Chinese literature history. Lu Xun(鲁迅，esteemed as the most influential and world-renowned writer of Modern China) once wrote a themed article with Leifeng Pagoda, whose name is Lun Lei Feng Ta De Dao Diao(论雷峰塔的倒掉, Comments about the collapse of Leifeng Pagoda, the selected article of secondary school Chinese textbook nationwide except Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan). Thanks to this article, Leifeng Pagoda as a symbol of China traditional culture and the scapegoat of suppressing Lady White is profoundly remembered by youngsters born in 60s, 70s and 80s in 20th century. In a word, Leifeng Pagoda is a shining pearl of the West Lake Scenic Area.
Because of being built on the Leifeng Peak or Thundering Peak of Xizhao Hill on the southern side of The West Lake, it in folk community is called Leifeng Pagoda. Leifeng Peak is the middle peak of Xizhao Hill, which Lin Bu, a Taoist-oriented poet of North Song Dynasty, portrayed to be a fairyland in his poem titled Zhong Feng Shi (中峰诗, Poem of Middle Peak): 中峰一径分,盘折上幽云,夕照前村见,秋涛隔岭闻, which can be directly translated into A hilly path marking the Middle Peak is up to heavenly cloud. Afterglow showing in front village and the wave sound of autumn can be heard via the separated peaks. It is really a perfect destination for traveling.
In 1120, Leifeng Pagoda was seriously ruined by wars. During the period from 1195 to 1200, Leifeng Pagoda was reconstructed. Its building complex and the furnishings were splendid, especially the landscape the beauty of Leifeng Pagoda at dark, which is in perfect harmony with the sunset, so it was officially named Lei Feng Xi Zhao or Sunset Glow of Leifeng Pagoda in Li Song’s famous Painting of West Lake(西湖图), and it was listed into Ten Top Scenes of The West Lake. After Southern Song Dynasty, Sunset Glow of Leifeng Pagoda was one of the most welcomed destinations for visitors’ West Lake Tour. During the time from 1522 to 1566, the invading short stature bandits from Japan troubled the whole Hangzhou city and burnt down Leifeng Pagoda. It was a big shame to late ancient China actually.
By the end of 1999, Hangzhou Municipal Government and Zhejiang Provincial Government officially made a decision to reconstruct and extend the original Leifeng Pagoda according to the principle of preserving the cultural relics. The reconstruction project kicked off on Dec. 22. 2000 and was completed on Oct. 25, 2002. Since its collapse, there were more than 70 years that the Leifeng Pagoda was in ruins, a lot of domestic learners continually appealed for reconstruction. Huang Yanpei(1878-1965, 黄炎培), the late Vice-Chairman of National People’s Congress, appealed for many times nationwide. He directly questioned the whole nation who was the reconstructor of Hangzhou and who could restore the beauty of Leifeng Pagoda. Liang Sicheng(1901-1972，梁思成), one son of Liang Qichao and the world-famous architect painted the restoring picture of Leifeng Pagoda in 1931. In 1932, the plan of reconstructing Leifeng Pagoda was confirmed when Baochu Pagoda was under reconstruction in 1932, but due to the problem of financing, it did not be realized. After the establishment of The People’s Republic of China, a lot of people proposed the plan of reconstructing Leifeng Pagoda. A lot of famous academic scholars paid a lot of attention to the reconstruction of Leifeng Pagoda like Chen Congzhou, the famous gardening architecture master, as well as Wu Yin, the famous architect.