Cabin fever setting in? Make an outing to Phalen Regional Park in Maplewood and see the beauty of the Xiang Jiang Pavilion in the snow, which is based on the famous Aiwan Pavilion in Changsha, Hunan Province built in 1792 under the reign of the sixth Qing Dynasty Emperor Qianlong.
The pavilion is named after the Xiang River that runs through the heart of Changsha. The Xiang Jiang Pavilion stands 35-ft. tall and 23-ft. wide and is in the style of Changsha architecture with sweeping eaves (unlike the Beijing style with straight eaves). Its granite columns are from Nanyu, Hunan Province, and weigh 10 tons each. Its glazed roof tiles are from the Qu Fu Tile Factory in Shandong Province.
The beautifully carved couplets on the two front columns on both the Xiang Jiang Pavilion and Aiwan Pavilion are identical. They mean, “Along the mountain path, a red sunset unfolds, Blossoms of 500 peach trees burst forth, Jade green clouds descend over the mountain cliffs, A pair of red-crowned cranes await their bamboo home.”
Visits are free and open year-round. (Photo and pavilion facts: Linda Mealey-Lohmann)