A museum and a park, the Du Fu Thatched Cottage is maintained in memory of the most outstanding Chinese poet Du Fu. Visitors can explore the cottage filled with the poet’s and Chinese poetry as well as enjoy the beauty and tranquility of a sanctuary right in the middle of the busy city.
Brief Impression and Origin
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 that were able to combine a memorial temple and a well-known celebrity’s old house. It also has a cultural temple designed with ancient-style architecture and a peaceful garden. Because of this, it is considered a National Key Cultural Relics Protection Unit and has garnered a National 4A Scenic Spot. It was also recognized as a National Top Level Museum, a distinct recognition that is also granted to Guanghan Sanxingdui Museum, Wuhou Temple, Deng Xiaoping’s Former Residence, and Zigong Dinosaur Museum.
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.
Who is Du Fu?
Du Fu is considered China’s Shakespeare as proclaimed by the Harvard Announcement. He is a renowned realism 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 for he was able to record 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, and others. 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 is displayed. Other than that, 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 functioned as an adviser 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 where 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 the shrine of 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 lies a stone tablet in which the words “Shaoling Thatched Cottage” is inscribed by Prince Guo. It is considered a sample of the Du Fu Thatched Cottage because of its thatched roof.
If you go and walk east from the Shaoling Thatched Cottage Tablet Pavilion, you will be able to witness 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
A pavilion where relics, ruins, and a huge amount of cultural treasures were unearthed in the latter part of the year 2001, the Ruins of Tang Dynasty verifies the truth of the natural features, daily musings, and the Thatched Cottage defined in the poems of Du Fu. With the relics and treasures with significant value to the ancient times’ culture in the pavilion, the historic atmosphere in the Du Fu Thatched Cottage is deepened.
The original Flowery Path is a delightful path where colorful trees and flowers are lined and once described in the poetry of Du Fu as a path full of petals. Nowadays, the Flowery Path is bordered by two red walls that connect the cottage’s memorial architectures and the precious Cao Tang Temple. At the end of the Flowery Path is 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.
The Wanfo Pagoda which was rebuilt in the year 2005 and is located in the east of the current Du Fu Thatched Cottage. 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. Situated on the second floor are the many little statues of different poets and their creations, some of them are Li Qingzhao, Sima Xiang Ru, and Qu Yuan. Many articles for daily use which were 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.
Where is Du Fu Thatched Cottage?
Address: Located in # 37 Qinghua Road, Qingyang District in Chengdu City, province of Sichuan
8:00 am to 6:30 pm (May to October)
8:00 am to 6:00 pm (November to April)
Ticket Price: 60 RMB per person