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Covered Corridor

The covered corridor represents a typical architectural style in Chinese landscape gardening. It is a long, belt-like roofed walking way with low railings or long side benches. Providing people with shade from the sun and protection from the rain, it not only adds beauty to the general scenery but plays a useful role as well.

Chinese covered corridors fall into many varieties, but roughly they may be divided into youlang which links two or more buildings, qulang (the zigzag corridor), huilang (the winding corridor), hualang which is used for the display of potted flowers, and shuilang which borders on lakes or goes over ponds.

It is the general consensus that at the top of all classical corridors must be listed by any standards the Long Corridor in Beijing's Summer Palace, a unique treasure in the art of gardening arrangement. An exquisite winding structure of 728 meters, it stretches its 273 bays between the hill and the lake, broken at intervals by four double-eave octagonal pavilions, which represent the four seasons of the year. All its beams are painted with colored pictures of landscapes, human figures, flowers, birds and scenes of historical and popular stories. These paintings total more than 40,000 in number, and the visitor would need eight hours just to linger two seconds before each picture.

The Long Corridor, it is said, was built by Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty in order that his mother might safely enjoy the scenes of rain or snow over the lake. In effect it is a piece of ingenious engineering which at once divides and links up the hill and the lake of the Summer Palace. Whether one looks at the lake from the hill or at the hill from the lake, the Long Corridor is always there, not only a pretty frame border for a nice picture but a colorful belt to bind the two parts together.

Famous private Chinese gardens, located mostly in the southern provinces, likewise, are often ornamented with corridors. In Suzhou's Zhuozhengyuan (The Humble Adminitrator's Garden), part of the winding corridor is erected over a pond and has been described as a 'rainbow over water'. With its reflection in the water, sometimes ruffled by a breeze, it is a favorite spot for visitors to take snap­shots. In Liuyuan (Lingering Garden), another well-known garden of Suzhou, the buildings-pavilion, terrace, hall, tower, etc. Break, and at the same time are linked by a 600-meter­long corridor. Its walls have fancy cut-through windows which reveal scenes on the other side, and they are also inset with 300 stone-engravings of calligraphical works and poems by famous masters; both the windows and the engravings are regarded as masterpieces of their respective kinds. Visitors come here either to feast their eyes on the natural views or on the works of art and poetry, all at their choice.

To see the beautiful covered corridors in the Chinese-style gardens, please book the Suzhou Tour Packages or Beijing Tour Packages!

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