Xuanwu Lake Park (Xuanwu Hu Gongyuan) [玄武湖公园]

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Xuanwu Hu (Xuanwu Lake) has been named and renamed on many occasions in history, but its status as a source of legend has always remained intact. It has been called Sangpo, Moling Lake, Hou Lake and Kunming Lake, and it got its current name during the Southern Dynasty when, legend has it, a black dragon crawled out from its depths. The black dragon was the god of water, and it had the power to control all water bodies and the rain.
Xuanwu Lake has served the city well during the city's numerous invasions. During the Northern Song Dynasty , Wang Anshi drained the lake and used it to grow much-needed crops. During the Ming Dynasty , Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang erected high walls an...

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Xuanwu Hu (Xuanwu Lake) has been named and renamed on many occasions in history, but its status as a source of legend has always remained intact. It has been called Sangpo, Moling Lake, Hou Lake and Kunming Lake, and it got its current name during the Southern Dynasty when, legend has it, a black dragon crawled out from its depths. The black dragon was the god of water, and it had the power to control all water bodies and the rain. Xuanwu Lake has served the city well during the city's numerous invasions. During the Northern Song Dynasty , Wang Anshi drained the lake and used it to grow much-needed crops. During the Ming Dynasty , Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang erected high walls and re-flooded the lake, so that it served as a natural city moat. Xuanwu Lake Park was officially opened in 1911. It has since served as an oasis of calm in this otherwise bustling city. Covering a total area of 476 hectares, the lake contains the five green islets of Huanzhou, Yingzhou, Liangzhou, Cuizhou and Lingzhou. Each of these islets has its own distinctive characteristic - the willows of Huanzhou; the flowers of Yingzhou; the trees of Cuizhou; the chrysanthemums of Liangzhou and the mountain haze of Lingzhou. On the grounds around the lake are countless traditional Chinese structures like pavilions and corridors. The park is one of Nanjing's prime attractions. Foreign visitors are often mesmerized by the volume of visitors the lake receives in the summer time. Early in the morning or late at night, locals can be seen there practicing taichi. The skies above are peppered with kites of all description. And during the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year), the fireworks displays are practically round the clock.

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