three pools reflecting the moon pagoda
China is a country with aesthetic appeal to ignite all the senses. I was most struck by the simple yet delightful visual landscapes that have been created by merging the beauty of natural and architectural elements. I found much inspiration, and hope that I captured some of this through the lens.
The other element that I loved was the poetic names of these locations which perfectly match this visual beauty.
This island in West Lake, Hangzhou is called three pools reflecting the moon. On the island is a list of ten poetically named scenic places of West Lake (from the Southern Song Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty). Many poems produced in the later Southern Song Dynasty cover the subject of these ten scenic places. Names include Autumn Moon Over the Calm Lake, Breeze-ruffled Lotus at Yeast Garden, Lingering Snow on Broken Bridge and Twin Peaks Piercing the Clouds. How fabulous!
The story of this island: "There are four beautiful islands in West Lake and the largest one is called Three Pools. The isle itself is a man made landscape from 1607 and its beauty is almost beyond imagination. The delightfulness and richness of gardening and harmony is astonishing. The islet itself has a minor lake so it’s an islet in a lake with a lake you are entering when here. The isle was in the beginning, during the Wu– and Yue Kingdoms, a Buddhist monastery called Baoning Temple. Later on, in the Ming Dynasty, the isle was surrounded by a dike enclosing the water round the monastery. Entering the island you will find lovely small pavilions and a very well balanced Chinese garden landscape.
A small zigzag bridge will take you further out on the lake on the island. At the southern part on the island, rising from the water, there are three 2-meters high and hollow stone pagodas from the late 11th century. On a full moon night people can row out to the pagodas, place a candle in the stone and a light will come out of the five equally spaced windows reflecting the moon into the water and making it look like there were several magic moons in the water."