Touring Qianlong's favorite Lion Forest and tasting Suzhou's famous squirrel fish 194

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The Qianlong Emperor lived 89 years old, reigning for 60 years, from the age of 41 to 74 years old six times to the south of the Yangtze River, the main purpose is in the Suzhou and Hangzhou area to play in the mountains, food and beauty, leaving a lot of anecdotal stories. One of the gardens that became a lifelong favourite of the Qianlong emperor was the Lion Grove in Suzhou, and one of the dishes that became a masterpiece of Suzhou cuisine because of the Qianlong emperor was the Squirrel Mandarin Fish at Songhelou in Suzhou.
From the age of 47, the second trip to the south of the Yangtze River, Qianlong visited Suzhou Lion Grove six times, including the fourth trip to the south of the Yangtze River, also went to the Lion Grove twice in a row, Qianlong tour Lion Grove not only did not get tired, but also wrote poems and paintings, more eager to move the Lion Grove to the palace, first allocated 130,000 taels of silver in the Yuanmingyuan Changchun Garden to build a replica of the Lion Grove, and then spent 70,000 taels of silver in the summer resort to building a replica of the Lion Grove, the Qianlong emperor's life love of the Lion Grove garden to the extent of obsession.
The Qianlong Emperor loved to travel and play in the mountains, write poems and paintings, it is said that he wrote 40,000 poems in his life, an average of more than once a day, writing poems like today's WeChat, and is a typical WeChat control, not send a day two or three uncomfortable. Before he travelled to the mountains, he had to be submitted by local officials when the local public opinion map said and a list of monuments, introducing the previous inscriptions, so as to compare the travel guide, if not the emperor, it is estimated that the travelogue is better than Xu Xiao. The second time he went to Jiangnan in 1757 A.D., the first time he went to the Lion Grove, he did just that, carrying with him the "Lion Grove Map" by Ni Zan, a great calligrapher at the end of the Yuan Dynasty, and viewing the Lion Grove one by one, giving plaques and inscriptions, and coming back with several copies of the "Lion Grove Map", which, if there had been a digital camera at the time, would have taken thousands of pictures, and if there had been a WeChat at the time, his circle of friends would have been bursting at the seams.
Suzhou's gardens are the best in the world, and the Lion's Grove is one of the four most famous gardens in Suzhou, a masterpiece of Han Chinese classical private garden architecture, with a history of 673 years. There are no lions in the Lion Grove, and there are many lions, the Lion Grove got its name for two reasons, one is because the garden "forest has a bamboo million, under the bamboo many strange rocks, like mythical beasts (lions)", because the strange rocks like lions, so-called the Lion Grove; second is the original owner of the garden is the monk Tianru Zen master, his disciples bought land to buy a house for him to build a Zen forest, because Tianru Zen master got the law in Zhejiang Tianmu Mountain Lion Rock, in order to commemorate the meaning of the lion seat in the Buddhist scriptures, called the Lion Grove. The Lion's Grove is together with the Humble Administrator's Garden, Suzhou Museum, Suzhou Folk Museum and Suzhou Garden Museum, and can be visited together.
There are many gardens in Suzhou, and although they are all piled up with mountains and water, they all have their own characteristics. The biggest feature of the Lion Rock is that there are many rockeries, and the Lion Rock rockery is the most twisted and complicated of the classical Chinese gardens.
Suzhou Lion Grove is a World Heritage Site, a National Key Cultural Relics Protection Unit, a National Key Park, and one of the four most famous gardens among the 69 existing classical gardens in Suzhou.
The Lion Grove is small, with an open area of about 0.88 hectares. The entrance fee is 40 yuan in high season and 30 yuan in low season, and you can see it all in half an hour if you just look at the bustle.
The Northern Song Dynasty Emperor Huizong's obsession with exotic rocks and trees had reached a morbid state, and he used the power of his country to engage in a flower and stone program, with ten ships as a "program", specially transporting exotic rocks and flowers collected from all over the world to meet the preferences of the deceased emperor.
But what does this flower and stone platform have to do with the Lion Forest? That's right, it was the Taihu Lake stone that Emperor Huizong liked most that created the rockery in the Lion Grove. When the garden was built in the late Yuan and early Ming dynasties, a large number of relics from the Northern Song Dynasty were collected and piled up to become the most famous rockery in classical Chinese gardens.
In 1341, the famous monk Tianru came to Suzhou, and his disciples "bought land and built a house to house their master", and in 1342, the disciples built a Zen forest for Tianru, which was called "Lion Grove Temple" and later renamed "Puti Zhengzong Temple" and "Shengen Temple".
Ni Zan, a great calligrapher in the late Yuan and early Ming dynasties, first made Lion Grove famous. In 1373, Ni Zan, who was 73 years old and passing through Suzhou, inscribed a poem and painted the famous "Lion Grove Picture" in Lion Grove, and Lion Grove became famous as a destination for Buddhist sermons and literati poems and paintings.
On February 11, 1703, the Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty came to the Lion Grove and gave the title "Lion Grove Temple", and the private garden Lion Grove was "inspected" by the Emperor for the first time.
There are many rockeries in the Lion Grove, and there are many that look like lions, but do you think this Taihu stone looks like a lion?
"This is a true reflection of the Lion Grove. The rockeries built with Taihu stones are the essence of the Lion Grove, some on land and some in water.
It is said that when Emperor Qianlong saw this pile of stone mountains, he was so happy that he decided to go in and see for himself.
I guess this should be an anecdote, two hours is equal to 4 hours, we do not have to drill in 10 minutes to come out, the Qianlong emperor would not be so road-weary to such an extent.
Regardless of the truth, he came out and found it very interesting, and with a wave of the imperial brush, he inscribed the three words "really interesting".
Good in the accompanying Suzhou scholar Huang Xuan is very perceptive, after the smart idea of horseshit just right: the emperor this "have" written the word is really good, can be given to me. Qianlong is also a smart person, a little that is to understand, then the water pushed the boat, leaving the word "true interest", so there is this true interest Pavilion. There are several versions of this story, but it is an anecdote about Qianlong and the Lion's Grove.
It is hard to imagine that the Qianlong emperor was so fond of the Lion's Grove, so let's take a look at his six trips there. The first time, in 1757, during his second trip to the south of the Yangtze River, he took Ni Zan's picture of the Lion's Grove with him and visited the garden according to the picture, and afterwards wrote a poem entitled "Visiting the Lion's Grove".
The third time, the fourth time, in 1765, when he went to Jiangnan for the fourth time, he went to the Lion's Grove on his first stop and wrote two poems. After going around Jiangnan, he felt that it was not enough, so he went to the Lion's Grove again after passing through Suzhou and wrote a poem "Visiting the Lion's Grove Again".
In 1771, he allocated 130,000 taels of silver to build a replica of the Lion's Grove in the Changchun Garden of the Yuanmingyuan in the capital, and in 1778, he allocated 70,000 taels of silver to build another replica of the Lion's Grove in the Summer Palace, and put his two copies of the Lion's Grove in the two replica Lion's Groves, and wrote a bunch of poems about the Lion's Grove.
The sixth time, in 1784, was also his last trip to Jiangnan, when he was 74 years old, feeling his age, said to the ministers accompanying him, I am already old, from now on I will not go to Jiangnan, but after the tour of the Lion Grove and asked himself: "the real mountain and ancient trees have so, the victory of spring can be found?" I still love to leave the Lion's Grove.
Some people may wonder why Qianlong did not go to the Lion's Grove during his first trip to Jiangnan. This is indeed a problem, the more reliable answer is that although Qianlong got the "Lion Forest" early, but has been mistaken that it is Ni Zan's private garden, did not know that it is in Suzhou, there is also a saying is that Qianlong second in Jiangnan East and West, suddenly thought of the old master Kangxi's travelogue there is a lion forest, so temporarily decided to go to see, who knew that after the uncontrollable.
In 1917, I.M. Pei, the uncle of the world-famous architect and Shanghai pigment magnate, bought the Lion Grove from Li Zhongyu, the then chief of civil affairs, and spent 800,000 silver yuan to renovate it for nearly seven years, adding some new attractions and giving it the old name of "Lion Grove", which was ready to be opened but could not be because of the outbreak of the war.
If you want to follow the footsteps of Qianlong in Suzhou, Guanqian Street is also a very good place to go after visiting the Lion's Grove, the love of Qianlong's life.
Guanqian Street is a place to go to the Songhe Tower, which is the largest surviving wooden structure of the Song Dynasty in the south of the Yangtze River and a national key cultural relic protection unit.
The Songhelou on Guanqian Street was founded in 1757 by the Xu family in the year of the Qianlong Emperor in the Qing Dynasty. It has been operating noodles and selling meals for more than 250 years and is one of the oldest establishments in Suzhou.
Songhelou is also the oldest and most famous authentic Suzhou restaurant in Suzhou, and is the cradle of Suzhou chefs, and in a sense, Songhelou represents Suzhou cuisine.
The signature dish of Songhelou is the Squirrel Mandarin Fish, which is basically one of the masterpieces of Suzhou cuisine, but the reason why it is so famous is related to Emperor Qianlong, who liked to visit the south of the Yangtze River in private.
There are many legends about the Qianlong's visit to the South of the Yangtze River, but about the Squirrel Mandarin Fish of Songhe Lou is like this: According to the legend, when the Qianlong went to the South of the Yangtze River for the fourth time, under the alias of Gao Tianci, he took two bodyguards with him, dressed in green, and walked into Songhe Lou and saw the "Yuanbao fish" (carp as an offering) jumping around on the divine platform, and asked to eat it. The fish was a "sacrifice" to the gods, but the chef was intimidated by the "holy order", so he had a plan to cook the fish in the shape of a squirrel (later changed to Mandarin fish), taking the head of the fish to resemble a mouse, and the first word of Songhelou to mean "pine". Later, the fish was changed to Mandarin fish to avoid the crime of slaughtering the "sacred fish". The weakness of this story is that since it was a private visit, the chef was not able to refuse his "holy orders".
Anyway, the story of Qianlong's visit to Songhelou to eat Squirrel Mandarin Fish has been widely circulated. As locals, they may dislike Songhelou for not being affordable, not tasting good enough, etc., but as tourists, this is the representative place of authentic Su gang cuisine. Our table of big men went to Songhelou to taste a meal of famous Suzhou dishes, and the per capita consumption was about 120 yuan after AA.
In addition to tasting the most authentic Su gang dishes, that meal is also a cultural lesson, eating a meal to know several words, such as the famous Zhenjiang dish called "crystal meat", but "meat" is pronounced as "nit "I was puzzled, the dish is obviously only a "Yao" pronunciation. Later, I went back and asked Douniang, the original is the ancient Zhenjiang wine sea street hotel, mistakenly salt pickled pig's feet bladder, boiled, slippery crystal, transparent jelly, as if crystal, the fragrance is rich, later, people suspected that "nitrate meat" an indecent, changed to "crystal meat". However, the locals still read it as "nitrate meat".
And this dish is called "replica Purse (sound) fish", replica Purse fish is known as the freshest fish in the sea, the ancient language also has the meaning of pickled fish, I think here should be referred to pickled fish. To Songhelu eat a meal, there is no point culture are embarrassed to order food.
Finally found a word know the dish "oil eel paste", said this is also a very traditional Su gang dishes, when the eel fried up, add some chopped onion, garlic, ham, and then pour a little hot oil, the plate is still squeaking when served.
Even this bowl of noodles is very famous, forgive me for only remembering to eat up the taste is good, the name is really forgotten because eat this meal too much information, and the legendary story, and learn to recognize the word, but also drink a few cups of Shaoxing yellow wine, so have to know can tell me.
The Qianlong Emperor was also a man of nature, who loved the south of the Yangtze River so much in his life, and was so fond of the Lion's Grove that he not only left many humanistic stories about the "paradise on earth", but also added to the beauty and delicacies of Suzhou. The Ming and Qing dynasties were the heyday of Suzhou's gardens, and at that time, there were at least hundreds of various gardens in Suzhou, but none of them had the same status as the Lion's Grove in Qianlong's mind. Qianlong so fond of the Lion Grove, but also the achievement of the owner of the Lion Grove at that time, Huang Tengda, the eldest son of the owner is the first scholar of the Gulin Huang, in the second tour of the Qianlong Lion Grove after a sweep, the scholar and the second son of the owner, Huang Xuan, since the emperor after the tour, the fierce study, high school scholar, to the third generation of the Huang family, the family decline, to the middle of the Qing Guangxu, "the garden has been dumped, only the rockery remains". Only the rockery remains", the good thing is that this garden in the chaotic world, despite the many changes, but the proud rockery has always maintained its original appearance, the rockery is still there, the soul of the Lion Grove is there.

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