Broken Bridge of West Lake – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

broken bridge of west lake

The Broken Bridge of West Lake (西湖断桥) stands at the dividing point between Beili Lake and Outer West Lake in Hangzhou, with one end spanning over Beishan Road and the other connecting to Bai Causeway. Among the numerous bridges spanning the ancient and modern eras of West Lake, this bridge holds the greatest renown, adorned with profound historical and cultural significance alongside unique natural beauty.

With a history dating back to ancient times, it is said that the bridge was constructed as early as the Tang Dynasty, known then as Baoyou Bridge during the Song Dynasty and as Duanjia Bridge in the Yuan Dynasty. Its name has various origins: some say it derives from the road to Gu Shan (Solitary Hill) ending abruptly here, hence the name “断桥” (Broken Bridge); others suggest it comes from the abbreviation of Duanjia Bridge, sounding similar to “断桥” (duàn qiáo). Another interpretation suggests that during winter, when the snow melts on the sunny side while remaining on the shaded side, the bridge appears as if broken, earning the name “断桥残雪” (Broken Bridge in Lingering Snow). Some even attribute the name to the sentiment of the Southern Song Dynasty, where poets and painters sought to depict the remaining mountains and waters, thus proposing the name and the scenic spot.

The bridge features pavilions and other structures, facing the Inner West Lake, with Baoshi Hill and Baochu Pagoda across the lake, creating a picturesque scene with mountains, pagodas, lakes, pavilions, bridges, peach trees, and willows. The Broken Bridge serves as the gateway to Solitary Hill. Whenever snow blankets the West Lake, visitors flock to admire the snowy scenery. The bridge teems with people, and the Solitary Hill and Inner West Lake cloaked in silver offer an especially enchanting sight.

Moreover, the Broken Bridge is the setting of the Chinese folklore “Legend of the White Snake,” where it is said that Bai Niangzi (the White Lady) and Xu Xian met at this bridge, adding a romantic hue to its history. Additionally, it is also the place where the characters Lin Daiyu and Jia Baoyu from the Chinese literary masterpiece “Dream of the Red Chamber” parted ways, infusing the bridge with the sentiment of yearning, making it a destination for literati and scholars to express their emotions.

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour15 minutes
Opening Hours24 hours a day
Ticket PriceFree

Location and Transportation

The Broken Bridge is located approximately 200 meters east from the intersection of Beishan Street and Baoshu Mountain Road, near the Baochu Pagoda in the Xihu District of Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province. To get there, you can take bus 7, 27, 277, or WE1314, and get off at Geling Stop (葛岭站).

Attractions near Broken Bridge

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