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Melting Snow at Broken Bridge


  As the well-known scenic spot on the West Lake, Melting Snow at Broken Bridge is famous for the looming view of the bridge seen from a distance in winter snow. It is one of the top ten views of the West Lake.

  The Broken Bridge lies at the eastern end of the White Causeway, leaning against the Precious Stone Hill and facing Hangzhou City. It is the demarcation point of Outer West Lake and North Inner Lake. Located in a high position, with a wide vision, the Broken Bridge is the best place of enjoying snow-covered landscape in the West Lake. Shortly after the auspicious snow, seen from the Precious Stone Hill toward the south, the West Lake is covered with snow and the White Causeway lies across snow willows and peaches. The stone arch face of the Broken Bridge has no shelters. Ice and snow are melted in the sun, showing the mottled bridge railings, while two sides of the bridge are still covered with white snow. The stone bridge is looming, and the white snow in the culvert is sparkling. A contrast is formed on the bridge floor. It seems broken when seen from a certain distance, so it is called the Broken Bridge. Zhang Hu of Tang Dynasty was the first one to record “Melting Snow at Broken Bridge” in his poem To Hangzhou Gushan Temple:

  The tower soars in the steep hill; a small path leads to the center of the lake. The landscape of hills is moist even if it does not rain; the water surface is in dark blue even if there is no cloud. Mosses on the Broken Bridge are mottled; the tranquil courtyard is filled with fallen flowers. During recall for the scene of appreciating the moon from the west window, a melodious ring comes from the north forest of Jade Emperor Hill.

  According to the poem “mosses on the Broken Bridge are mottled”, the Broken Bridge was originally an ancient flat stone bridge filled with mosses. Shortly after the heavy snow, snow on the ancient stone bridge filled with mosses does not disappear, presenting a run-down feeling of leftover rivers and mountain remains. This carries a foreshadowing that Melting Snow at Broken Bridge is a unique landscape on the West Lake.

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