Black Dragon Pond

As the water is as green and lucid as jade, the pond is also entitled "Yuquan" or Jade Fountain. On the bank of the pond willows hang their withes like silk thread. One can see arbours and pavilions beside the pond, temples hidden in the trees and variegated flowers found everywhere. "A tree of cherry blossom accompanies a tree of willow, while a rose climbs to the tip of one of a tree's twigs." That is how the calm and exquisite view of the place is described. Longshen Pavilion on the east side of the park was built in the second year of the Qianglong era of the Qing Dynasty. In its five compounds are grown over 500 kinds of flowers, their grace and beauty all defy description. It is therefore praised thus: "At Yuchuan the flowers of the four seasons are like embroidered brocade". Emperor Jiaqing and Emperor Guanxu conferred on it royal honours for its famed excellence.

Deyue Pavilion was rebuilt in 1963. The poet Guo Moruo dedicated two couplets to it. One reads: 'The vernal breeze caresses thousands of willow withes, the view is splendid only in this part. Three million jade dragons fly in the heaven, so ravishing is nature's charm." The other reads: "Thirteen peaks are reflected in the Dragon Pond with diving dragons up in heaven and flying dragons down on earth. Jade waters flow half a li, with jet the body and turquoise the soul."

At the north end of the park there stands the famous Five-Phoenix (Wufeng) Pavilion also called Fayun Pavilion, built in the 29th year of the Wanli era of the Ming Dynasty (T601). It is the main building of Fuguosi Temple, with a height of 20 m. and in the style of flying cornices and threefold overlap. Since the ground floor has octagonal flying cornices, the threefold overlap makes up 24 angles; so from every viewpoint the pavilion looks like five phoenixes spreading their wings for flight. Hence its name. The structure is built on a noble scale, with elaborate carvings, redolent of antiquity and a strong local flavour as well as distinctive ethnic colour.

The pavilion was originally built on a mountain far away from the town. For the convenience of visitors, it was moved to this park and constructed by the side of Deyue Pavilion, to the mutual enhancement of their splendour. Its reflection in the clear water of the Jade Fountain makes the view all the more exquisite. In the 12th year of the Chongzhen era of the Ming Dynasty (1639), the famous traveller Xu Xiake came here on his tour and stayed for eight days in the pavilion, which he took as a fortune.

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