The West Lake of Hangzhou and the Lomond Lake of Geneva in Swiss are compared to two bright pearls. It is the West Lake that makes Hangzhou one of the most beautiful and magnificent cities in the world.
The West Lake is surrounded by mountains on three sides. It is close to the urban areas in the east. The average depth of the water is around 1.5 meters with a maximum depth of 2.8 meters and a minimum depth of less than 1 meter. The Su Di (Su Bank) and the Bai Di (Bai Bank) divide the lake surface into five parts, namely, Li Lake, Wai Lake, Yue Lake, Xili Lake and Xiaonan Lake and each has it own beauty. The most famous spots according to Chinese culture are "the ten sceneries of the West Lake" named in the South Song Dynasty and "the new ten sceneries of the West Lake" chosen in 1985.
The garden scenic area has the West Lake as its center and covers an area of 60 square meters and has more than 40 scenic spots and historic sites and more than 30 key cultural relics and historic sites scattered over the area. It is said the West Lake sceneries are one lake, two peaks, three springs, four temples, five mountains, six gardens, seven caves, eight graves, nine streams and ten sights.
Broken Bridge is located at the eastern tip of the Bai Di (Bai Bank). According to "Remarks on Travel in the West Lake" from the Ming Dynasty, the Broken Bridge acquired its name as the Bai Di which originates from the Gushan Mountain and is broken at that spot. Broken Bridge is the most famous bridge on the West Lake. Its name is related with Chinese folklore of the "Legend of White Snake". The doleful love story between Bai Niangzi (White Maiden) and Xu Xian began from a meeting at Broken Bridge with the borrowing of an umbrella.
Baoshu Tower is situated on the Baoshi (Precious Stone) Mountain. Built during the Northern Song Dynasty it has been destroyed and rebuilt many times. The tower is a hexagon, seven-story solid brick tower with a height of 45.3 meters. It was last rebuilt in 1933 in the original style of the late Ming Dynasty. The tower is graceful, straight and slim like a beauty standing gracefully erect beside the West Lake. It is one of the emblems of the West Lake.
Three Pools Mirroring the Moon
The Three Pools Mirroring the Moon is one of the ten sceneries of the West Lake. The three stone pagodas were built more than eight hundred years ago, are the famous for being main view in the Three Pool Mirroring the Moon. The stone pagodas are hollow and in the shape of a ball. The surface of the ball has five circular holes. Whenever the round moon is shining in the sky, people light the candles in the pagoda and cover the hole with a thin paper. The candle lights are reflected in the water through the round holes like many "small moons". This forms an exotic and beautiful view of "a moon in the sky and three shadows in the water", and was therefore named of "the Three Pools Mirroring the Moon".
Autumn Moon over the Calm Lake
The Autumn Moon over the Calm Lake is located at the western tip of the Bai Di. It is surrounded by water on three sides and lies at the back of Gushan Mountain. The water surface here is broad and as calm as a mirror. It is an ideal place to admire the moon on a Mid-autumn Day. Therefore, it is called Autumn Moon over the Calm Lake. The scenic area covers an area of about 6000 square meters. The garden has with a great number of pavilions, platforms and gardens.
Sunset Glow at the Leifeng Pagoda
Leifeng Pagoda is one of "the ten sceneries of the West Lake". The history of the Leifeng Pagoda goes through three phases: Qian Fujiao, the King of the Wu-Yue State, built an octagon and seven-storied pavilion style pagoda in the year 975;ruined by lightning strike at the beginning of the South Song Dynasty, it was rebuilt into an octagon and five-storied pavilion style pagoda; During the Jiajing period of the Ming Dynasty, the wood gutters of the pagoda were damaged by arms and only the brick-structured core of the pagoda was left. In 1924, the core of the pagoda collapsed completely. As the old saying goes, "pagodas are renovated during the period of prosperity". The rebuilding of the Leifeng Pagoda today is the common will of the great mass and people from all walks of life home and abroad who love West Lake and Hangzhou, and has more of a special significance at the turn of the new century.