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Du Fu Thatched Cottage

Du Fu Thatched Cottage

Du Fu Thatched Cott age            Bookmark and Share

Du Fu Cottage (Du Fu Cao Tang) is located in the western outskirts of Chengdu City on the bank of Huanhua Brook, where Du Fu, the great realistic poet of Tang Dynasty, stayed during his vagabond life. It is an important scenic and historic spot in Chengdu.

Du Fu, owner of the Thatched Cottage

Du Fu (712 - 770) was born in Gongxian County, Henan Province, and lived in the period when the Tang Dynasty was on the decline. In 759, due to the poverty and social upheavals in his home province of Gansu, Du Fu fled to avoid the disasters caused by rebellions and arrived outskirts of Chengdu where he built a cottage as a temporary haven with his friends on 44 hectares of land.

Du Fu had great influence upon the development of Chinese literature. He wrote more than 1,400 poems lamenting the suffering of the people. During his 4 years' stay here in Chengdu, he wrote more than 240 poems, many reflecting his enlightened views on the poverty and misery experienced by the people.

After Du Fu's departure from Chengdu, the cottage was abandoned for a long time and became dilapidated. Hundreds of years later in the Northern Song Dynasty (960 - 1127) a new temple was built on the original site of the thatched cottage to commemorate this outstanding person in Chinese literature.

From then on, it was renovated and enlarged repeatedly. There were two very important reconstructions in 1500 and 1811 respectively, both of which set the scale and structure of the present thatched cottage.

Today, it is a shrine to Chinese literature and a commemorative museum in the form of a traditional garden.

There is a huge collection of more than 30,000 volumes of different kinds of materials and over 2000 pieces of historical relics in the Du Fu Cottage Museum.

The Cottage covers a total area of 24 hectares (about 59 acres), and is the combination of both Fan'an Temple in the east and the Plum Garden in the west. Construction inside The Cottage belongs to the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911) style, with gardens in the unique compound style of traditional Chinese gardening.

The area includes several amazing structures. Next to each other in a line that divides the whole thatched cottage area into two parts are the Screen Wall, the Gate, the Lobby, the History in Verse Hall, the Faggot Gate, and the Gong Bu Temple. On each side there are cloisters and other attached buildings echoing each other. This layout gives the place solemnity, simplicity, elegance, and grace.

To the east of the Gong Bu Temple stands the Tablet Pavilion, which is on the original site of the cottage. It has 5 main and 4 attached rooms with thatched roofs and is surrounded by bamboo fences, vegetable gardens and herb plots. All these endow a strong atmosphere of culture. Again, the grand bronze statue of Du Fu in the Memorial Hall of Du Fu and the vivid earthen figure of Du Fu in Gong Bu Temple all impart a feeling of deep respect for the poet.