Broken Bridge

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.

Tourists on Broken Bridge, Hangzhou

West Lake in Hangzhou has many beautiful bridges, all with poetic names.

Willow Bridge, West Lake, Hangzhou
Willow Bridge, West Lake, Hangzhou

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.

Lady White Snake, Leifeng Tower, Hangzhou

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.

Scene from wooden carving of Lady White Snake’s legend in the Lei Feng Tower, Hangzhou

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 over Leifeng Tower

Sunset Glow in the evening from Leifeng Tower is one of the famous scences in Hangzhou. Leifeng tower overlooks West Lake.

Broekn Bridge at Night

Anyone visiting Hangzhou and walking over West Lake, is reminded of the tragic story of Lady White Snake.

Night scene over West Lake.


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