Gu Shan (Solitary Hill)

It lies in the northwest corner of West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. The name Gu Shan literally means the hill surrounded by water and standing alone in West Lake. Gu Shan, 125 feet tall, is low in comparison with the other hills around West Lake. It is bordered by Bai Di Causeway on the east, Xi Leng Bridge on the west, the outer lake of West lake on the south, and Bei Li Lake on the north.
In the middle of Gu Shan, Zhong Shan (Sun Yat-sen) Park was opened in 1927 to honor the great Chinese politician who established a new republic and served as the provisional president of the republic after the fall of Manchu (1911-1912) and led China into a new revolutionary era, beginning with the remarkable Xin Hai Revolution in 1911. The park was rebuilt on the site of an imperial garden of the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911). Dotted with brooks, ponds, flowers, plants, pavilions, and bridges, this garden is so distinctive that it is regarded as a wonder of West Lake.
On the top of Gu Shan is Xi Leng Seal Society, an academic community devoted to the study of inscription and seal-cutting. Founded in 1908 under the leadership of Wu Changshuo, the society was soon popular and developed into a famous center of seal-cutting, painting, and calligraphy. At present, the society exhibits more than 250 pieces, including stone tablets, inscriptions, and statuary from past dynasties.
At the western foot of Gu Shan, Fang He Ting (Crane Pavilion) was erected to memorialize Lin Bu, a poet of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). Lin Bu lived alone in Gu Shan for many years and never married. Apart from composing poems and painting in his spare time, he concentrated on raising cranes and planting plum trees to enjoy their blossoms. Thus, people said that the plum blossoms were his wives and the cranes his sons. Hence, the saying "Plum Wife and Crane Son" became his nickname and was remembered and came down from generation to generation. Today, Crane Pavilion and its surrounding areas are the best places for appreciating plum blooms in early spring. The tomb of Qiu Jin is at the west foot of Gu Shan, near the bank of Xi Leng Bridge. Qiu Jin is a well-known heroine in the period of Chinese pro-democracy revolutionary at the beginning of 20th century. She bravely fought with enemies and died at the tender age of 32.The present granite tomb in a square shape is the result of the large restoration of 1981. On the tomb is a white marble statue of Qiu Jin. Wearing a long skirt and leaning on a sword, she looks composed and resolute.
Gu Shan is a wonderful combination of nature and history. Not only does one have a chance to appreciate sites of historical and cultural interest, but also to enjoy the nature scenery from the foot of the hill to its highest peak. In addition, Gu Shan is a vantage point for viewing surrounding scenery of both of Gu Shan itself and of West lake.
Admission Fee:  Free