china edition
 

 

Chengdu - Wangjiang Tower Park

Sichuan - Chengdu - Jiuzhaigou - Leshan

Located on the south bank of the Jinjiang River in Chengdu, Wangjiang (in Chinese, overlooking the river) Tower Park is one of 3 famous cultural relics in Chengdu, along with Wuhou Memorial Temple and the Thatched Cottage of Du Fu. While Wuhou Temple honors the legendary minister of Shu, Zhuge Liang, and Du Fu Cottage honors the Sage of Poetry, Wangjiang Tower is dedicated to a woman, Xue Tao, a poet in the Tang dynasty. Since in the past women lacked social status, the story of Xue Tao is all the more fascinating.

Wangjiang Tower ParkXue Tao was born in a turbulent society so her father named her "tao" wave in Chinese. She led a hard life after her father's death, eventually becoming a singer. She was versatile and beautiful. History records that she wrote 500 poems and that her contemporaries greatly admired her. Bamboos will get your attention as you enter the park. Xue Tao loved bamboo; over 150 kinds of bamboos from home and abroad grow here in her honor. Wangjiang Tower Park with its elegant garden of bamboo is the finest in Chengdu.

Built in 1889, Wangjiang Tower has become a Chengdu landmark. Legend has it that the sponsor wanted the building to conform to Fengshui to enhance literate luck. It was only after the tower was completed that the sponsor revealed in 2 poems that his true motivation was to honor Xue Tao.

The 39 meter high Wangjiang Tower is the greatest building in the park. Other memorial buildings like Yinshi (poems-chanting) Building, Wuyunxian (five fairy clouds) Hall, Quanxiang (fragrance of spring) Pavilion, Pipa (loquat) Alley, Qingwan (refreshing and pretty) House, and Huanjian (paper-washing) Pavilion are elegantly arranged, featuring Sichuan-style gardens.

Xue Tao Well should not be missed. Not only a poet and beauty, Xue Tao was a clever inventor inventing Xue Tao Paper with water from the well. Superior to the yellow and coarse paper used at that time, her Xue Tao Paper was colorful and delicate.