Du Fu Thatched Cottage

dufu thatched cottageLocated at the side of the Flower Washing Brook in the western suburbs of Chengdu, the cottage is the former residence of the famous Tang Dynasty poet, Du Fu. In the year 759 A.D., at the age of 47, compelled by poverty and social upheaval, he moved from Gansu to the outskirts of Chengdu and built a thatched hut. During his stay of nearly four years, he composed more than 240 of 1400 surviving poems reflecting upon the misery of the people.

Within the building, from front to back, are the poetic history halls, thatched entrance, Gongbuci Temple, and Shaoling Stone Monument.

At the cottage where Du Fu resided in an impressive life-sized statue of the poet with one hand pensively stroking his beard. Outside, across a small bridge and up some steps is Du Fu's Memorial Hall. On show here are steles, stone tablets, and clay sculptures of the poet done as early as the 14th century. Displayed in his study at the back pf the cottage are over 150 copies of various editions of his poems, including woodblock-printed texts, hand-written copies from past dynasties, editions published after the new China was founded, and also translated versions in English, French, Russian, Japanese and 11 other languages. There are also a collection of 2,700 biographies, booklets and literary commentary on his life, and his poems published in Chinese and other languages. The more than thousand books and paintings exhibited in Du Fu thatched cottage reflect his contribution to the enrichment of Chinese and world literature.

The humble cottage is now surrounded by a 20-hectare (50 acres) garden with more than thirty varieties of plum trees besides magnolias, crabapples, camellias, azalea, laurel, and other flowers and plants. The flowers in the garden are in bloom throughout the four seasons, scenting the air with their fragrance.

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