Category: West Lake.

About West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou

WHS#1334 | West Lake | Tourist Maps | Travel Guide | Photo & Video | News Update

West Lake China

West Lake is located west of Hangzhou, a coastal city in southeast China, and covers an area of 4235.76 hectares. It comprises 6 elements: natural hills and waters, the spatial feature between the Lake and the City as the cloud capped hills on three sides of the Lake and the City on the fourth, the layout of two causeways and three isles, Ten Poetically Named Scenic Places, historic monuments and sites, and distinctive flora. It has inspired the creation of huge quantity of outstanding literatures and art works by numerous literary and art masters of China since the 9th century, represented by Bai Juyi, Su Shi and many other famous scholars and atrtists of the Tang and Song dynasties.

West Lake Landscape is the most classic work of landscape design of the Chinese landscape aesthetics, a product of the continuous creative process carried out by Chinese cultural elites throughout the history, based on the philosophy of pursuing ‘harmony between nature and man’, nourished from profound Chinese classical literatures and aesthetics of fine art, and utilized the art and skill of gardening. It manifests the artistic style of ‘poetic and picturesque appeal’ that has been persisted in by this Oriental design approach since the 13th century. With its prominent continuity and cultural association, it has occupied an outstanding and important position in and exerted a lasting and broad influence on the history of landscape design in the world and cultural exchange in the East between the 9th and 20th century. During its continuous evolution of over 10 centuries, it has been gradually refined and preserved authentically and integrally till today.

With extremely rich landscape features, distinctive design, time-honoured history of development, and exceptional wealthy cultural content, this famous Oriental ‘lake with cultural meanings’ is a unique cultural landscape in the world.

West Lake Landscape possesses the natures of all 3 types of cultural landscape at the same time: a landscape designed and created intentionally by man, a continuing landscape that has being organically evolved, and an associative cultural landscape.

The boundaries of the buffer zone: on the east—starting from the East Ring Road, via the south section of Tiesha River, Zhegan Railway, Zhonghenan Road, and Fuxing Bridge; on the south—starting from the north bank of Qiantang River, via Zhijiang Road and Liuzhuan Road; on the west—Circling City Highway, on the north—starting from Xixi Road, via Tianmushan Road, Baochubei Road, Wensan Road and Wenhui Road.

The core and buffer zones are protected by the Regulations on the Conservation and Management of World Cultural Heritage Sites (in China), Regulations on the Conservation and Management of West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou, the Outline of the Conservation and Management Plan of West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou, and Master Plan for the Conservation of West Lake Scenic Area of Hangzhou.

West Lake location and zones 640px

The outstanding universal values of West Lake Landscape

The 6 elements that embody of West Lake Landscape include:

1.Natural waters and hills
These comprise the water body of West Lake (559.30 hectares) and hills embracing it from north, west and south (about 3000 hectares), which are both the natural ‘carriers’and components of the nominated property. The water body of West Lake consists of 5 small lakes namely Outer Lake, Lesser South Lake, West Inner Lake, Yuehu Lake and North Inner Lake.

2.Spatial feature between the Lake and the City
The unique spatial feature of ‘cloud-capped hills on three sides of the Lake and the City on the fourth’ took its initial shape in the 12th century, and remains unchanged ever since.

3.Layout of West Lake
It features the ‘two causeways and three isles’. The causeways are Bai Causeway, Su Causeway; the isles are Lesser Yingzhou Isle, Mid-lake Pavilion Isle and Ruangongdun Isle, all are products of repeated dredging of the Lake from the 9th to the 19th century. They have defined the overall layout of West Lake, and transformed it into a unique large-scale landscape with multiple layers of appreciation. Therefore they are the structural element of West Lake in the nominated property.

4.Ten Poetically Named Scenic Places of West Lake Initiated in the Southern Song Dynasty (the 13th century) and continuously evolved till today, this series comprises ten poetically named scenic places:

Su Causeway in the Morning of Spring, Breeze-ruffled Lotus at Winding Garden, Autumn Moon Over the Calm Lake, Lingering Snow on Broken Bridge, Viewing Fish at Flowery Pond, Orioles Singing in the Willows, Three Pools Mirroring the Moon, Twin Peaks Piercing the Cloud, Leifeng Pagoda in Evening Glow, and Evening Bell Ringing at Nanping Hill. Scattering in and around the Lake, these combined works of nature and man are the most classic, complete, and influential works of ‘poetically named scenic places’, a landscape design approach originated from Chinese landscape aesthetics. Each of them has its inherited particular place and view for appreciation, whether be it a historic site or a natural scene; they together demonstrate a series of themes for enjoyment and emotional association.

Boasting a prominent associative cultural character, these places are the core element of the West Lake Landscape that testifies the outstanding creative spirit and value of artistic exemplar.

west lake pavilion

5. Historic Monuments and Sites
During its process of continuous evolution over a millennium, for various reasons such as political, historic, or geographic location, but more importantly, for its unique scenic attraction and cultural enchantment, West Lake Landscape has produced and gathered a great number of historic monuments and sites of various types, manifesting Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism, the mainstreams of Chinese culture. Of the over a hundred heritage, the following 14 are the most representative and are included in the current nomination: Baochu Pagoda, Site of Leifeng Pagoda, Liuhe Pagoda, Jingci Temple, Lingyin Temple, Statues on Feilaifeng Peak, Yue Fei’s Tomb (and Temple), Wenlan Pavilion, Baopu Taoist Monastery, Site of the Qiantang Gate, Site of the Temporary Imperial Palace of the Qing Dynasty, Stele of Wu-he-fu and Lin Bu’s Tomb, Building Complex of Xiling Seal Engravers Society and Longjing Well. Dotted around the Lake and hills, these monuments and sites have embodied exceptional wealthy and diverse cultures and traditions, and are supporting component of the nominated property as a ‘lake with cultural meanings’.

6. Distinctive Flora
Boasting a time-honored history and outstanding cultural symbolic value, the distinctive flora of West Lake Landscape include three elements: Alternatively planted peach trees and willows along the causeways and shorelines of the Lake, the product of an unbroken tradition since the Song Dynasty (11th – 13th century); the ‘flowers of the four seasons’ corresponds to the seasonal characters of Ten Poetically West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou Named Scenic Places, which are peach blossom, lotus, sweet osmanthus and plum for spring, summer, autumn and winter respectively; and the traditional Longjing Tea Plantation and associated scenes scattering in the hills west to the Lake, which bears an important value of Chinese Tea-Zen cultural tradition. The total area of the buffer zone is 6357.43 hectares. It is delineated for protecting the integrity of the values of the nominated property, and for withstanding the pressure from urban development. It is demarcated based on the peripheral northeastward to the ‘Tiesha River’, the east boarder of Hangzhou City in the Ming Dynasty, in order to withstand the pressure of urban development. In addition, based on the feasibility of management, the south boundary is extended to the north bank of Qiantang River.

west lake flowers blosson

Category: West Lake
Please login to your facebook account before comment.