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Hong Kong Kowloon Diamond Hill Nan Lian Garden Pavilion of Absolute of Perfection and Wu Bridge
Hong Kong

Hong Kong Kowloon Diamond Hill Nan Lian Garden Pavilion of Absolute of Perfection and Wu Bridge

Nan Lian Garden is situated at Diamond Hill of Kowloon, taking in the full view of southeast Kowloon. The Garden and the Chi Lin Nunnery to its north together back into the sprawling northern mountain range. Hammer Hill Road borders the Garden on the east, Lung Cheung Road on the south, and Hollywood Plaza, a large shopping mall, on its west. The Garden opens to the west. An MTR station is just opposite the Main Gate.

The Garden is a designated public park, with an area of 35,000 square metres. It was designed and built by the Chi Lin Nunnery, entrusted by the Government, and is opened to the public in November 2006. It is currently managed by the Chi Lin Nunnery, also entrusted by the Government.

The Garden is built in the classical style of the Tang Dynasty (618 AD to 907 AD), on the blue print of Jiangshouju, the only Tang landscape garden the original layout of which can still be placed and traced today, and the shape of which bears a significant resemblance to the Garden site. Hills and rocks, waters, plants and timber structures are built and arranged according to classical Tang style and rules, accommodating the local environment, and the best view of the sprawling mountain range to the north is taken as the seamless backdrop.

The Garden is a Tang garden built in modern times, its architecture and landscaping reminiscent of nature and conducive towards a sense of serenity and tranquility, an ambience in which visitors may enjoy a moment of leisure and peace of mind, whilst reflecting on the profound richness of classical Chinese culture, right in the midst of the urban city hustle and bustle. It is hoped this will help promote the knowledge of and interest in classical Chinese culture.

Pavilion of Absolute of Perfection

This octagonal pavilion stands in the middle of the octagonal lotus-shaped pond, a symbol of absolute perfection and fulfillment in all aspects of life, and blessings to all visitors. Access to the pavilion is over the twin vermilion Zi and Wu (which amongst other things mean North and South) bridges which also mark the central meridian of the garden.

Wu Bridge

The twin bridges, Zi Bridge and Wu Bridge, connect the Pavilion of Absolute Perfection to the north and south shores, on a north-south axis dividing the Lotus Pond.  The two arch bridges are built, in full timber, in the old traditional way, in bright rainbow red, reminiscent of the ancient Tang style, now lost in modern Chinese architecture.  Standing over the tranquil water of Lotus Pond, rippled only by dropping leaves and passing breezes, the twin bridges compliment and indeed contribute to the wholesome serene ambience in which the pavilion and the surround all but play a part.

In traditional Chinese, Zi (子) and Wu (午) are among the twelve Earthly Branches (地支), which are used in conjunction with the ten Heavenly Stems (天干) to designate the times of the years.  A full cycle of 60 combinations, a Jia-Zi (甲子), signifies a period of 60 years.  The twelve Earthly Branches are used also to indicate the time of the day, in which Zi signifies the first hour (i.e. the early wee small hour), Wu the noon time.  They signify the orientations too: Zi denoting due north, and Wu due south.

Wu Bridges sits on the south, bridging seemingly to reach the drifting Rock Clouds. On each of its three sets of balusters rests a budding lotus, a sign of peace and composure.

Copyright: Photo Guy Kenneth Wong
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 9152x4576
Uploaded: 01/01/2012
Updated: 05/09/2014
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Tags: diamond hill; garden; temple; timber architecture; tower; pavilion; pool; pond; bridge
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