The Zhishan Garden is located right next to the National Palace Museum and covers around 4.6 acres. It is designed like many large traditional Chinese-style gardens and provides curated plants, ponds, and pathways linking one pavilion to another. The motive behind Chinese-style gardens is to evoke reflection, meditation, and a deeper connection between humans and nature. Many elements of the Zhishan Garden are inspired by the stories of Chinese academic, artistic, and imperial figures studying and creating in gardens.
One favorite feature of the garden is the Brush Washing Pond, where its waters spread far and wide like glass. The pond was named after the story of Chang Chi of the Eastern Han Dynasty. He had written by a pond and washed his brushes in the water, and subsequently, the water turned black. While you won’t find black waters at the Brush Washing Pond, you’ll find many koi fish eager for a treat; visitors can feed them for a fee.
The West Bridge Pavilion is also popular, taking its inspiration from Wu Chu of Southern Sung Dynasty: “The willows by the bridge drifts into the green stream”. The pavilion is built by the water, and a bridge with six bends connects the Pavilion with the opposite shore, looking like a winding river.
The Orchid Pavilion, another favorite, takes inspiration from literati Masters Wang Hsi-Chih and Hsieh An from the East Chin Dynasty, who composed the “Preface to the Poems Composed at the Orchid Pavilion” while drinking wine. The pavilion has round tables and chairs; there are also bronze sparrow lanterns in the Han style that visitors admire as they rest.
Post cover photo "Garden Entrance" by Shenghung Lin is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.