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Dufu Pavilion

Updated: 2014-06-26

Dufu Pavilion was built to honor a Chinese poet called Dufu who lived in the Tang Dynasty, and follows the style of archaic landscape architecture. It stands in the West Lake Bridge of Hedong District in Changsha, Hunan province. To be exact, it is on the junction of Xiang River Road and West Lake Road. Being part of the Xiang River scenic belt, it is opposite Orange Island and Yuelu Mountain, both of which are on the other side of Xiang River. In addition, it is less than 1,000 meters away from Tianxin Pavilion.

The landscape area of Dufu Pavilion covers over 6,000 square meters, including a building area of 3,800 square meters. The main hall is 4-storeys, and 18 meters high. In 2002, Changsha municipal government officially decided to build it, while on 19th September 2005, the whole building was completed and passed the specialists’ checks. It then began trial operations and opened to the city’s residents.

The main building of Dufu Pavilion was designed around Tufu and Changsha, the poems Dufu created in Hunan, and his influence on Hunan culture. At the same time, its focus on the overall environment was to create the best historical and cultural atmosphere. Therefore, it can suit people of different social levels and achieve the combined effect of being both intellectual and recreational.

The terrace on the first storey is suspended 5 meters over the Xiang River. The north and south corridors in Dufu Pavilion are corridors with poem tablets. Both sides of the column are carved with Tufu’s poems for people to study. Within the corridor, there are decorations of fan-shaped verandas, zigzag verandas and stone tablets.

The second storey is designed as a memorial hall. Direct to the main hall is a large-scale wooden bas-relief named “Dufu’s Tracks in Hunan”, showing Dufu’s whereabouts when he lived in Hunan. Opposite to Dufu’s statue in the center of the main hall, the bas-relief adds radiance and beauty to each other. Both sides of the main hall are decorated with Dufu’s poems and poetic paintings of famous artists like Zhang Daqian and Lin Shanzhi. Poetic couplets, large vases with poems and paintings, large archaic seat screens of rosewood, flower stands, tables, famous potted flowers and potted landscapes, etc., all of which add strong cultural atmosphere to the main hall.

On the third storey is a themed exhibition of Dufu’s life. In the form of poems and painting, the exhibition focuses on Dufu’s poems during his three years’ stay in Hunan. These poems express his plight of being sick and lonely in his old years, and also his great concern about his country and people. The exhibition consists of six themes: his lineage, his travel experiences, poems stating ambitions, history of his poems, spirit of Hunan, and glories. Over one hundred items in total, including image materials, paintings with poems, different editions of Tufu’s poems and other material objects, are planned to be exhibited.

Besides, the overall architectural style of the exhibition hall is similar to that of Dufu Pavilion. The exhibition wall takes a shape which was popular in ancient times – doors and windows in Chinese history, which can effectively bring audiences to a historical time and place. In addition, laminates adopt the form of ancient sewn books. The combination of these two aspects makes the ancient cultural atmosphere stronger, not only providing visitors with a strong feeling of the Tang dynasty culture when honoring Dufu, but also making the exhibition hall simple and lively, properly organized, relaxed and cozy. 

The set design on the fourth storey serves as an exhibition hall for selected products and also for people to make friends through literature. Currently, it is called “Collected Refined Works’ Pavilion”. It is planned that it will consist of three areas, including a model exhibition area, making friends through literature area, and area for visitors to rest. In the center of the main hall is a model of Dufu Pavilion, with Qing Dynasty’s rosewood furniture, four stationery treasures of Chinese study, antique calligraphy and paintings and fine rare stones of Hunan all displayed on both sides. On the walls around are paintings of character stories in Changsha, which tell the stories of Qu Yuan, Jia Yi and other historical famous people and reflect Changsha’s profound historical and cultural heritage.