The skies broke and a soft early spring rain fell on a very cool (18 degrees celcius) Fuzhou as we slowly crawled by taxis through the streets towards Zhenhai Building which has long been reckoned as a building "overlooking the river and controlling the sea". It was built as a sample tower for all others to follow by Emperor Hong Wu of Ming Dynasty in 1371.
Buildings in Old Fuzhou were often razed to the ground by fire as they were mainly constructed with wood. The Seven Jars arranged in the form of a big ladle to convey an implicit sense that holding water just like the ladle are endowed with a magic power to subdue fires. They also convey the best of wishes from the people of Fuzhou.
Photographers Meng Lei and Steve Ling working hard.
Meng Lei presenting a set of books written by himself and other Sibu writers to Mr. Lu the curator of this building. Looking on are Mr. Deng Wang Chiew and Mr. Tiong Yong Ching.
This three panels are part of 8 calligraphy scroll screens handwritten by Wang Renban a Chuang Yuan (top scholar) of the Qing Dynasty.
This building has undergone many devastation and reconstruction. Today the Fuzhou Municipal People's Government has raised this building by 10 meters of its original height.
This building is located in the north end of the central axis line in Fuzhou on Pingshan Hill ("Screen like Hill") which is like a screen topographically standing up along the north side of the Fuzhou City.
According to an ancient geomancer in one historical document "The capital city of Fuzhou was surrounded by mountains except for a locality short of something in the geographical true north hence a building came to complement the missing link."
Having been there there is no doubt I gained a deep understanding of the word "Fu" or blessing. How blessed are the people of this "city of blessing". The rain seemed to be telling us to stay longer. But as we were hard pressed for time we had to move on.
2. Tourist brochure : Brief Introduction to Zhenhai Lou
3. Photos courtesy of Shu Yu Chuang
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