Pan Gate, Pan Men, Panmen or Panmen Gate is a famous historical landmark in Suzhou, China. It is located on the south-west corner of the Main Canal or encircling canal of Suzhou. Originally built during the Warring States Period in the state of Wu, historians estimate it to be around 2,500 years old. It is now part of the Pan Gate Scenic Area. It is known for the "three landmarks of Pan Gate". They are the Ruiguang Pagoda, the earliest pagoda in Suzhou built in 247 BC, the Wu Gate Bridge, the entrance to the gate at that time over the water passage and the highest bridge in Suzhou at the time, and Pan Gate. The Ruigang Pagoda is constructed of brick with wooden platforms and has simple Buddhist carvings at its base.
Pan Gate is part of the ancient city wall built in 514 BC that surrounded and protected Suzhou. Pan Gate was the only entrance to the wall that surrounded ancient Suzhou. It is also known in China for its architecture. It is so famous for its complex of both land and water city gates that many times, people directly refer to it as the "Land and Water Gate". In order to attract more tourists, in recent years, the city of Suzhou has renovated the old wall and built many other attractions around the original gate in the Pan Gate Scenic Area.
Features of Pan Gate
The Pan Gate is one of the two remaining ancient gates in Suzhou, and the only remaining water gate in China. The area is huge and has much more than just the gate. The entire area has been turned into a scenic spot with a lot of historical interests. It is large and very nice. The area originally had a temple, and only the pagoda is left from it now. The pagoda is well over a thousand years old and quite beautiful. The pagoda was built in the North Song Dynasty. It is 43.2 meters tall. It has 7 layers. The precious culture relics were found in the pagoda many times. In 1963, on the pagoda¡¯s cliff of the first layer, there discovered two wood Buddha statues. On the third layer, there discovered one stone Buddha statue and some brick carving. In 1978, on the third layer, there discovered Kwan-yin statue, copper Buddha statue and more than 100 Buddhist materials, which are priceless culture relics.
In recent years, the Pan Gate spot becomes a famous tourist attraction. There are many gardens, pavilions and ponds scattered throughout the area. It is a very nice place to stroll and relax.
How to get Pan Gate