Situated in the southwest of Shaoxing, the Orchid Pavilion is a renowned historical site. It was recorded that a group of scholars gathered at the Orchid Pavilion on the third day of the third lunar month in the year 353, the attendants including Wang Xizhi, a famous calligrapher, and his friends, Xie An, Sun Chuo and others.
Wang Xizhi (303–361), reputed as "calligraphy saint" in China's history of calligraphy, was the great calligrapher of the Eastern Jin Dynasty. Incorporating widely the essence and strong points of preceding and contemporary calligraphers, he broke away from the script styles of the Han and Wei Dynasties and established a school of his own.
These scholars held the waterside ritual, floated wine cups along a zigzag channel, drank wine and compose poems. Wang Xizhi compiled a collection of poems by the poets attended the gathering, and wrote a preface, which is the well-known Preface to a Collection of Poems Composed at the Orchid Pavilion.
In the Orchid Pavilion stands a triangle tablet kiosk, which holds a tablet inscribed with two Chinese characters, meaning "Goose Pond" in cursive scripts. The Pavilion for Bestowing Wine, General Youjun Shrine and Ink Pond constitute the centerpiece of the Orchid Pavilion.
The Pavilion for Bestowing Wine is three bay wide, and is enclosed by corridors. In front of the pavilion there is a zigzag channel, with water floating along the channel. It is the famous zigzag channel.
Transport: Bus Nos. 3 and 303
Opening Hours: 08:00-17:00
Main tourist attractions include the Goose Pond, Goose Pond Tablet, Lesser Orchid Pavilion, the zigzag channel, Pavilion for Bestowing Wine, Imperial Tablet Pavilion, General Youjun Pavilion, Calligraphy Museum, etc.