Home Page>>Why Hangzhou>>West Lake Heritage>>West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou>>Landscape Pattern of West Lake

The Space Features of West Lake 2018-10-10

West Lake borders 'cloud-capped hills' on three sides and adjoins the sprawling downtown metropolis on the other. The expansive waters framed by rolling hills are a photographer's dreamscape.  The vistas are multi-faceted and boundless. The serenity of the lake contrasts sharply with the bustling city on its southern shore, and it is this curious juxtaposition that brings out its dramatic charm.

Over the centuries, West Lake has influenced garden design all over China, as well as in Japan and Korea. It bears an exceptional testimony to the cultural tradition of designing landscapes for the purpose of creating series of vistas which reflect an idealized and pragmatic fusion between humans and nature.

The West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou, comprising not only West Lake itself, but also the hills surrounding its three sides, has inspired famous poets, scholars and artists since the 9th century. The landscape possesses numerous temples, pagodas, pavilions, gardens and ornamental trees, as well as causeways and artificial islands.Its intricate visual combinations are often overwhelming.

Its beauty has been celebrated by writers and artists since the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). In order to consolidate its astounding beauty, its islands, causeways as well as the lower slopes of its hills, have been 'improved' by the addition of numerous temples, pagodas, pavilions, gardens and ornamental trees which merge with farmed landscapes. The main artificial elements of the lake, the two causeways and the three islands, were created from repeated dredging between the 9th and 12th centuries. Since the Southern Song Dynasty (thirteenth century) ten poetically named scenic places have been identified as embodying idealized, classic landscapes - that manifest the perfect fusion between man and nature. West Lake is an outstanding example of a cultural landscape that displays with great clarity, the ideals of Chinese landscape aesthetics, as expounded by writers and scholars in the Tang and Song Dynasties. The landscaping of West Lake has had a profound and continuing impact on the design of gardens not only in China but further afield, where lakes and causeways have imitated the harmony and beauty that West Lake offers. The key components of West Lake still allow it to inspire visitors to 'project feelings onto the landscape'. The visual parameters of this vast landscape garden are clearly defined, all the way to the ridges of the surrounding hills.

Leave a message


Hangzhou Qipao Festival - Dresses to Impress2018-09-29
The 2018 Hangzhou Qipao Festival, a perfect integration of Hangzhou tourism, silk culture and Qipao cultural creativity, aims to further develop the globalization and optimization of Hangzhou’s tourism.
Autumn Flowers Bloom Marvellously2018-09-29
Hangzhou city is currently filled with an air of early autumn which is seen from the drop-in recent temperatures to the variety of autumnal plants, and the following species welcome the new season in blooming marvellously.
No.188, Fuchun Road, Hangzhou, China
TEL: 86-571-96123
FAX: 86-571-96123
Complain: slw@hz.gov.cn
Consult: slw@hz.gov.cn