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The Flat Top Hill Suzhou China

The Flat-top Hill is one of the main scenes of the Mudu Scenic Spot of National Taihu Lake Scenic and Historic Spot. It is 14 kilometers west to Suzhou city with an elevation of 221 meters. Although it is high and steep, it is flat at the top, from which its name is got.

The Flat-top Hill is famous for the three superbs grotesque rocks, clear fountains and red maples. The grotesque rocks are jagged and precipitous like tablets held before the breasts by the officials in the feudal times when received in audience by the Emperor and so they are called “Thousands of Tablets in Audience with the Sky”. Half way up the hill there is the Alms Bowl Spring, also called White Cloud Spring. The water is mellow and sweet and is said to be praised as the “Number One Spring in the Wu area” by Lu Yu, the saint of tea. The old maple woods at the southeastern foot were brought back from Fujian Province during the reign of Wanli in the Ming Dynasty and planted in the ancestrily precious land by Fan Yonglin, the seventeenth generation of Fan Zhongyan who was a famous official in the Song Dynasty. It is a splendid sight that the red leaves covering the hill look like rosy clouds curling up in the late autumn, layer upon layer and flake by flake. There is a praise saying that “the red maples on the Flat-top Hill are the finest under heaven”.

Since the Tang and Song Dynasties, the Flat-top Hill Has been the famous tourist resort in south of the Yangtse River . So many poems, travels and relics left behind by the famous figures of Bai Juyi, Fan Zhongyan, Tang Bohu and the Emperor Qianlong attract the visitors to recall the past and find out the historical sites. At the entrance of the hill there is the memorial gateway of “Gaoyi Garden” imperially bestowed by the Emperor Qianlong, the Emperor-meeting Pavilion, and the Pond of Ten Scenes. And in the red maple woods to the west, there are the historical sites of the Imperial Stela Pavilion and the Memorial Temple of the Loyal Martyr Fan Zhongyan. In 1989, the gateway of “Worry First, Enjoy Last” was rebuilt in front of the Memorial Temple of the Loyal Martyr Fan Zhongyan at the 2, 000 anniversary of his birth. Facing the Pond of Ten Scenes, the Mountain Villa of the Flat-top Hill is a group of ancient buildings covering 0.532 hectares and was originally built by Fan Yonglin. The buildings, halls, corridors and pavilions were built according to the physical features of the hill with rocks, water, flowers and trees embellished among them. The hill and the trees show more delights.

Climbing by the path onto the Flat-top hill, you will pass through the huge rock with a long linear crack in ,among the rock flying by, the Maple-seeing Pavilion, the White Snow Pavilion, the tall and erect peak, the terrace for looking at the lake, and finally come to the top of the hill above the clouds, from which you can see nearby as well as in the distance that the fields, the woods, the stretching hills and the vast Taihu Lake draw up a picture of hills and waters south of the Yangtse River full with the flavor of the times.