Located in the western outskirts of Chengdu, The Du Fu Thatched Cottage is a museum and a park maintained in memory of the most outstanding Chinese poet, Du Fu. Visitors can explore the cottage filled with poems of Chinese poetry as well as enjoying the beauty and tranquility of a sanctuary right in the middle of the busy city. (Video Credit: ChampChayut)
Brief Impression and Origin
Former Residence of The Poet Du Fu
As the former residence of the poet Du Fu, the cottage has witnessed the outstanding productive years of Du Fu in creating his poetry works and pieces. He was able to complete more than 240 poems in this thatched cottage. Numerous reconstructions of the cottage took place in the subsequent years and it became one of the most famous museums, which was able to combine a memorial temple and a well-known celebrity’s old house.
Du Fu was a refugee in Chengdu from the An-Shi Rebellion in AD 759. Upon arriving in Chengdu, he built a small cottage next to the picturesque Huanhua Brook with the help of his friend Yan Wu. Du Fu resided and lived in this cottage for four years. He left when Yan Wu passed away and the small cottage collapsed after his leaving.
It was the poet Wei Zhuang who later found and recovered the Du Fu Thatched Cottage. Since then, the cottage has undergone several reconstructions with the overall layouts and size confirmed.
It was in the year 1997 when the Thatched Cottage was recovered by the Du Fu Thatched Cottage Museum by looking at the descriptions indicated in Du Fu’s Poetry and the Ming Dynasty’s layout designs.
The Cultural Temple
The museum also has a cultural temple designed with ancient-style architecture and a peaceful garden. Therefore, it is known as a National Key Cultural Relics Protection Unit and earned the title of a National 4A Scenic Spot. It was also recognized as a National Top Level Museum, a distinct title that is also granted to Guanghan Sanxingdui Museum, Wuhou Temple, Deng Xiaoping’s Former Residence, and Zigong Dinosaur Museum.
Who is Du Fu?
Du Fu is considered China’s Shakespeare as proclaimed by the Harvard Announcement. He is a renowned realist poet whose brilliance shines in all ages. He also had a wide influence on Chinese classic poems and was addressed as a Poet-Historian and Poet-Sage. His works were also called History of Poetry as he recorded the Tang Dynasty events and important facts from the beginning until its end. Du Fu was a very patriotic poet who created masterpieces about his beloved country and the striving masses. His nationalistic inclination is due to the fact that he came from a very poor family.
Attractions in the Du Fu Cottage
There are many highlights that can be found in the Du Fu Thatched Cottage such as its ancient-style architectures, the Flowery Path, the Thatched Cottage itself, etc. The core architectures were constructed in the axis, from front to back with the following parts: Front Gate, Grand Lobby, Hall of Historic Poetry, and last but not the least, the Gongbu Temple.
Hall of Historic Poetry
From the Lobby, a stony cemented road will lead you to the Hall of Historic Poetry. Exhibition rooms are located on each side of the road where Du Fu’s hard life experiences and meaningful scenes in his poetry journey are displayed. Besides, many of Du Fu’s poetry books in the old version are also available in the exhibition for the visitors to explore.
The Gongbu Temple is the farthest building with major architecture in the Du Fu Thatched Cottage. When Du Fu was staying in Chengdu, he worked as an advisor to Gongbu’s Ministry of Civil Works. Thus, the temple was erected to commemorate his contributions to the community.
The temple holds the Gongbu Shrine where the statue of Du Fu is seated and people offer their sacrifices. It is a hall with three principal columns and a room. The statue located in this shrine was carved during the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
Aside from Du Fu, shrines of Lu You and Huang Tingjian, two other popular patriotic poets, are also situated in the Gongbu Temple. With three statues of great Chinese poets, the temple is also called the Three Sages Hall.
Shaoling Thatched Cottage Tablet Pavilion
The first distinct landmark in the cottage is the Shaoling Thatched Cottage Tablet pavilion. In its center, you can find a stone tablet in which, the words “Shaoling Thatched Cottage” is inscribed by Prince Guo.
If you go and walk to the east from the Shaoling Thatched Cottage Tablet Pavilion, you will be able to see a striking shot of a small bridge over a flowing stream and an imminent cottage with a straw roof among the luxuriant bamboos. This is the Thatched Cottage, which depicts the scene of Du Fu’s dwelling one thousand years ago. The cottage is a functional house built with a bedroom, a central room, and a bedroom.
Ruins of Tang Dynasty
The Ruins of Tang Dynasty is a pavilion where relics, ruins, and a huge amount of cultural treasures were unearthed in the latter part of the year 2001. It verifies the truth of the natural features, daily musings, and the Thatched Cottage defined in the poems of Du Fu. Thanks to the valuable relics and treasures, the historic atmosphere in the Du Fu Thatched Cottage is deepened.
The original Flowery Path is a delightful route where colorful trees and flowers are lined. It is described in the poetry of Du Fu as a path full of petals. Nowadays, the Flowery Path is bordered by two red walls, which connect the cottage’s memorial architectures and the precious Cao Tang Temple. At the end of the Flowery Path, you can find the Screen Wall of Thatched Cottage, another landmark in the historic place where the two characters “Cao Tang” made out of white and blue porcelain are decorated.
Located in the east of the current Du Fu Thatched Cottage, The Wanfo Pagoda was rebuilt in the year 2005. As you ascend to the stone steps and enter the gate of the pagoda, you will see the underground peristyle of the ancient Wanfo Pagoda through the glass. On the second floor, there are the many little statues of different poets and their works such as poems of Li Qingzhao, Sima Xiang Ru, and Qu Yuan. Many articles for daily use excavated through the years are located on the third floor. Go to the fourth floor if you want to see a vast image of fresh green trees.
|How to get to?|
|By Bus||Bus lines 19, 35, 58, 82, 151,1031, 165, 170, 1024, g74, 1134, and g59 help you to reach the (Thatched Cottage of Du Fu station.|
|By Metro||Metro line 4 helps you to reach the North Caotang Road Station. Then you will have 15 minutes of walk to the south direction to reach the site.|
|Children under 3.9 feet||Free|
|May – September||8:00 – 20:00|
|October – April||8:00 – 18:30|
As a tip, set aside half a day at least to make the most of the Du Fu Thatched Cottage. Also, if you would like to take photos, be careful not to use flash, especially in exhibition rooms. We will be pleased if you share your information about this attraction using the comment section. Besides, feel free to leave your questions if you need more detailed information. Our professional guides will reply to your question as soon as possible.