Under a heavy cover of snow, the bridge appears ‘broken‘ from a certain angle. The play of light on the white snow causes a visual effect which makes Broken Bridge look like it is in two parts.
West Lake in Hangzhou has many beautiful bridges, all with poetic names.
Broken Bridge has a well-known folk story connected to it. White Snake was a snake who, after meditating and discipling herself for thousands of years, metamorphised into a beautiful woman. When she fell in love with a young physician, they married and lived happily. Bai Suzhen – Lady White Snake – helped Xu Xian – the young physician – heal the sick.
A Buddhist monk tries to warn Xu Xian that his wife is really a ‘snake demon’, and she drinks a type of wine which is toxic to snakes, gets sick, and Xu Xian realises her true form.
Nevertheless the two are in love, and Xu Xian vows to love Bai Suzhen regardless of her true form. Fa Hai, the Buddhist monk, tricks Xu Xian into living at his temple and a number of other misfortunate events occur and Bai Suzhen is imprisoned in Lei Feng tower.
Then the myths vary. One has it that after twenty years, Bai Suzhen escapes and lives happily ever after with her husband and son. Another has it that Xu Xian and Fa Hai die, and White Snake remains imprisoned in Lei Feng Tower for thousands of years, until it collapses and she flies away.
Lei Feng Tower was destroyed by fire in 1924 and rebuilt in 2002.
Sunset Glow in the evening from Leifeng Tower is one of the famous scences in Hangzhou. Leifeng tower overlooks West Lake.
Anyone visiting Hangzhou and walking over West Lake, is reminded of the tragic story of Lady White Snake.
A gentle reminder that all the photographs in this blog are my own. If you enjoy the photos and wish to use them, there is a contact page where you can request permission. If you really really must have these photos, please credit this blog if you repost or share. thank you!