Henan Kaifeng Dragon Pavilion, China
China Travel Tips
Embassy & Visa
Dragon Pavilion at southeast part of Kaifeng, Henan Province is a well-known scenic area and historical place of interest.
Strictly speaking, the Dragon Pavilion at Kaifeng is the former imperial palace in Song Dynasty (960-1279A.D.). In front of the palace, are 72 stairs and a huge stone on which caved with nine dragons, there are fences made of stone surrounding the hall.
The stair in the hall belongs to Emperor Zhao Quangyin (960-976A.D.), the founder and first emperor in Song Dynasty. The main palace hall are a wooden structure, its built similar with Ch'ing Dynasty palace style, which is splendid and magnificent.
The back yard of Dragon Pavilion is now a public park. Walking along the park, you will see two lakes, Pan Lake and Yang Lake, a bridge across two lakes. A pair of stone lions stands on each side of the South Gate of the Dragon Pavilion. There is a long path from the pavilion to the street outside the South Gate, which was exclusively for Emperors, now known by the people of Kaifeng as "A Street in Song Dynasty"
This former imperial palace in Song Dynasty and all antiques in the palace were either missing, destroyed by wars, or damaged by the flood of Yellow River. Much architecture portion has been rebuilt in Ch'ing Dynasty (1616-1911A.D.).
In order to present the life in Song Dynasty, there is a wax museum, where famous figures are display, and important events are written. You can get a great view from the Dragon Pavilion overlooking Kaifeng, one of the six ancient capitals in China.
Kaifeng, has been the capital of Song Dynasty for 167 years. When Beijing became the capital of Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), the Dragon palace was re-built as a Taoist temple. During Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), it became Prince Zhou's mansion but a flood in late Ming Dynasty damaged it. Emperor Shunzhi of Ch'ing Dynasty named it "The Dragon Pavilion", so that the pavilion has an emperor's memorial tablet in the palace. Therefore, all officials must knee and bow to this temple in some important ceremonies.
Did you ever hear the folklore about Pan Lake and Yang Lake? The straight path from the Dragon Pavilion to the South Gate divides the lake into two parts, the west is Yang Lake (to memorize General Yangye, the east is Pan Lake (named after Premier Panmei). Can you believe that Yang Lake is always clean and smooth while Pan Lake is dirty? According to the folklore, the lake is clean because General Yang devoted himself and his family to the people and nation while Premier Pan did lots bad deeds. Therefore, Pan Lake is dirty.
Don't miss the wax museum in the Dragon Pavilion, where figures in Song Dynasty are displayed and important events are recorded. The records include such as the fountain of Song Dynasty, political reforms by Wang Anshi (a famous statesman and a well-known writer), the historic records about Lord Bao. (Also know as "Bao Zhen", known for his good deeds and judgement).