The most famous four pavilions in China (1): The Old Drunkard Pavilion

 

The Old Drunkard Pavilion(醉翁亭), situated on the half-way up the Langya Mountain, is one of the most four well-known pavilions. It is built in the reign of Emperor Renzong in Northern Song Dynasty, having the history of more than 900 years, and it is especially built for Ouyang Hsiu when Langya Temple was under the administration of Buddhist Abbot Zhixian. For Ouyang Hsiu called himself ‘the Old Drunkard Pavilion’, he named the pavilion ‘the Old Drunkard Pavilion’, and wrote a poet the Old Drunkard Pavilion which has been handed down to posterity. The buildings around the Old Drunkard Pavilion are unique and charming. East of the pavilion is a huge horizontally-lying stone, on which is carved the three Chinese words “醉翁亭”. West of it is Baosong Temple. Its height inside is 2 meters and width is about 1 meter. Two steles, on which the essay the Old Drunkard Pavilion in Su Shi’s handwriting form is carved, are rare treasures. On the western side of the pavilion, there is an old plum tree. The legend goes that it was planted by Ouyang Hsiu, so it was called ‘Ou Plum’.

 

 

In front of the pavilion is a spring, beside which is a clean and clear stream murmuring all the year round. If you go towards the west, you can watch the view of Jiuquliushang where the ancient people drank and poetized.

 

If you walk 1 kilometer up from the southwest of the Old Drunkard Pavilion, you will see the Langya Temple. Langya Temple, a famous temple in southeast China, was built in the period of Dali in Tang Dynasty. Although it successively got its name ‘Baoying Temple’ in the reign of Emperor Tang Daizong in Tang Dynasty, and ‘Kaihua Buddhism Temple’ in Song Dynasty, and now it is called Langya Temple because it is on Langya Mountain.

 

 

In the Sixth Year of the Reign Qingli of Emperor Renzong (1046 A.D), Ouyang Xiu was demoted to be the prefect of Chouzhou. Because he often went sightseeing in Mount Langya, Zhixian, the head monk of Kaihua Temple, built a pavilion by the side of Brewing Fount for him to rest. Due to the fact that Ouyang Xiu self-claimed a drunkard, the pavilion was so named as "Old Drunkard Pavilion".

 

Since The Record of the Old Drunkard Pavilion was written by Ouyang Xiu himself, Mount Langya became world famous.

 

In the Ming Dynasty, some other pavilions were built here, including Listening to the Fount Pavilion, Delight and Freedom Pavilion, Shadow and Fragrance Pavilion, Ancient Plum, and Baosong Studio and Fenggong Temple.  

 

Because The Old Drunkard Pavilion was built among mountains and waters with meandering paths and beautiful rocks and trees, it is regarded as the first of the China's four famous pavilions.


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