The Broken Bridge is noted for its peculiar scene in winter- Lingering Snow on the Broken Bridge, and its role in the popular folklore: Legend of the White Snake.
Brief of Broken Bridge
Broken Bridge, one of the top three lovers’ bridges spanning West Lake, has a bizarre name which suggests it is incomplete. However, that’s not the case; the bridge is just as complete as any other bridge in the world. For many Chinese lovers, the prospect of a stroll across Broken Bridge has as many romantic connotations as a serenade from a Verona balcony does for their Western counterparts.
Legend of the White Snake tells the love-story of Bai Suzhen (白素贞),a snake turned girl with exceptional beauty and wit and Xu Xian(许仙), a handsome young apprentice in a local traditional Chinese medicine pharmacy. Broken Bridge witnessed their romantic encounter in a drizzling spring afternoon, their turbulent marriage life and the happy reunion after decades of separation. It gets the name from a famous line sung by Bai Suzhen when was abandoned by Xu Xian, “The bridge is not broken, but my heart is.” Therefore the Broken Bridge is also widely known as “Heart-Broken Bridge”.
Lingering Snow on the Broken Bridge (断桥残雪), one of the top ten scenes of West Lake, also explains the name of this bridge. Standing on nearby Precious Stone Hill, you can see snow on the sunny side of the bridge often melt away to reveal the concrete surface, while the snow on the shady side still lingers and glistens like diamonds. The beauty of this striking scene is deemed as the second source of inspiration, for the name of Broken Bridge.