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The missing ancient architectures Part 5- Seeking a dream in Lin'an

06-03-2011 00:22 BJT



On the north bank of he lower reaches of the Qiantang River, there is an ancient city. In 589 A.D., Emperor Wen of the Sui Dyansty changed its name from Qiantang County to Hnagzhou for the first time in history. In the Norhtern Song Dynasty, Hangzhou was known as the “First State in Southeast China” for its accumulated wealth and abundance of beautiful buildings and gardens. In the 12th century A.D., the city was pushed to a turning point in history. In a turbulent shift of dynasties, Hangzhou once again got its opportunity.

In 1115 AD, the Jurchen from the northeast established the Jin Dynasty. After its rapid rise, the Jin Dyansty formed an alliance with the Northern Song Dynasty and they conquered the Liao Dynasty which was dominating the North. Unexpectedly, after this victory, the Jin army turned against its alliance- the Northern Song Dynasty. The year 1127 was the most tragic year for the Nrothern Song Dynasty. A massive military force of the Jin Dynasty invaded the Song capital city of Dongjing. The Northern Song Dynasty was toppled by the Jurchen. Emperor Huizong and his son Qinzong were captured by the Jin Army to the North as prisoner. At the same time, in Yingtianfu, Henan, a young man named Zhou Gou became the successor of the Song imperial family. He was Emperor Gaozong. This good luck was somehow embarrassing. As the ninth son of Emperor Huizong, Zhao Gou was not eligible to inherit the throne. But while his father Huizong and brother Qinzong were all captured by the Jin army.

Zhao Gou, the only survivor and direct descendant took the reign. Therefore, the year 1127 had two reign titles of the Northern Song and the Southern Song. The Northern Song Dynasty collapsed, while the Southern Song Dynasty proclaimed its establishment under this precarious situation. The Song royal family had always been weak in warfare, and Zhao Gou was no exception. As people in the capital of Dongjing were waiting for the return of Zhao Gou, this emperor withdrew to the South wih his newly-founded court. In the spring of 1129, they arrived at Hanggzhou, where the Grand Canal ended. The beautiful scenery undolded in front of Zhao Gou. Just as was depicted in a vese written by the famous poet Liu Yong. Over the past year, Zhao Gou had been running away from the Jin army and always been in a difficult position. For the weary Emperor Gaozong, it was impossible to restore the Cenral Plains and re-establish the settlement in the north. What he wanted most at the moment was to find a suitable place to rest. At this point, Hangzhou embraced him into its soft bosom. Soon afterwards, Hangzhou was given a new name as a special implication-Lin’an.

Editor:James |Source: CNTV

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