Du Fu Thatched Cottage (Du Fu Cao Tang) is located in the western outskirts of Chengdu on the bank of Huanhua Brook, where Du Fu, the great realistic poet of Tang Dynasty, stayed during his vagabond life.
Du Fu (712-770AD) was born in Gongxian county, He Nan province, and lived in the period when the Tang dynasty was on the decline. In 759, due to the poverty and social upheavals in his home province of Gansu, Du Fu fled to avoid the disasters caused by rebellions and arrived outskirts of Chengdu where he built a cottage as a temporary haven with his friends on 44 hectares of land.
Du Fu had great influence upon the development of Chinese literature. He wrote more than 1,400 poems lamenting the suffering of the people. During his 4 years' stay here in Chengdu, he wrote more than 240 poems, many reflecting his enlightened views on the poverty and misery experienced by the people.
The first cottage was constructed in honor of the poet on the ruins of the original site in the 11th century. The original residence disappeared long ago and over the centuries the commemorative shrine to the poet has developed within a pleasant park. It was reconstructed many times. One note worth restoration was in the early years of the 17th century during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911AD).
The cottage covers an area of 244mu, and the temple, in the style of Qing Dynasty architecture, has been well preserved. It includes the exhibition hall and the re-built Du Fu Thatched House. In 1961, it was listed by the State Council to be a key historical site under state protection.
The Cottage: The main attraction of the park, called Dufu Thatched Cottage Museum, is the recreation of the thatched hut that he lived in during the Tang Dynasty for over four years while in Chengdu. While it is not original, it has been meticulously re-created based on his own writings and descriptions of the dwelling, right down to the vegetable garden and the Chinese herb garden in the front.
The park, or compound, surrounding the cottage was built during the Qing Dynasty. The grounds are significantly larger than what Dufu had access to during his time in Chengdu.