Mudu is a famous ancient town in the Delta of Yangzi River. Because it has beautiful scenery and rich natural resources, and exactly is encircled by some famous mountains in Wu area: Tianpeng, Lingyan, Shishan and Qizi, it was called "cornucopia".
As a famous water town, Mudu and Suzhou City are of the same age. According to legend, in the last years of Spring and Autumn Period and Warring States Period, Gou Jian, the King of Yue used a "honey trap" and offered a beauty Xi Shi to the king of Wu, Fu Chai after defeated in endless dispute between Wu Kingdom and Yue Kingdom. Fu Cai made a pet of Xi Shi and specially constructed Guanwa Palace for her in the beautiful Lingyan Peak, and added Gusu Altar in Purple Stone Hill. In order to build these constructions, people spent three years lumbering and spent five years finishing constructing these buildings. An unfailing supply of timber stopped up rivers and harbors in the foot of the mountain, so the name Mu (wood) du (river) came from "Mu Se Yu Du (timber blocking the rivers)".
In 2,500-year-long history Mudu was pregnant with splendid culture because since ancient times, Mudu was a place where renowned personalities gathered together and able men were coming forth in multitude. As a communication hub linking Suzhou and vast Taihu Lake, Mudu is a truly important gateway of Taihu Lake and the most flourishing commercial port in the west of Suzhou in the Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty. Imperial artisan Yang Xu of Emperor Qianlong paint a painting named "the picture of developing flourishing age" and also named "the picture of prosperity of Gusu" with a realistic style to reflect a prosperous scene of Gusu with a total length of 1225 cm. And half size of it depicted the scene in Mudu, so it is evident that Mudu was properous in those days. Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty has made an inspection tour of the Delta of Yangzi River six times and made a temporary stay in Mudu each time where he chanted and wrote poetry with his teacher Shen Deqian and amused themselves with sampling tea and playing chess with his good friend Xu Shiyuan, leaving a lot of legends on everyone's lips.
Although 200 years passed by, pattern and outlook of Mudu ancient town has unchanged and is still the biggest commercial port in Wuxi area and the No.1 water village of Gusu area. In this town the ancient residence courtyards are very deep and flowing water under the small bridge is carefree and leisurely. Xu Jiang River was built for Wu Zixu which is the first artificial canal in our country, and Fragrant Stream gained its name because Xishi removed her make-up here which made the river sweet-smelling. Each bridge has a beautiful old legend, a high viewing, admiring and recreational value. Mudu is surrounded by hills and mountains and adjacent to Taihu Lake where visitors not only enjoy the delight of Real Mountain and real water but also the delightful serenity of delcusion of small bridge and flowing water. Especially they can visit numerous humane historic sites such as private gardens, celebrity's former residence. Therefore, Mudu scenic spot ranks the first in thirteen scenic spots of Taihu Lake. As the only garden ancient town of china, there were more than 30 private gardens in Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty, over dozen of which have been preserved so far.
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