There aren’t many places on the planet where you can visit the ancient home of a poet who lived over 1,200 years ago. Chengdu’s Du Fu Thatched Cottage, however, is a 24-acre shrine to Chinese literature that honors the work of the poet Du Fu who made his home at this very spot in 760 AD. During the four years that Du Fu resided at his cottage in Chengdu he crafted over 240 masterful poems which are considered to be some of the finest in the history of Chinese literature. One such work, “My Thatched Roof is Ruined by the Autumn Wind," is regarded as one of his finest pieces and was written about the plight of poverty-stricken artists and their basic need for shelter. Though the original thatched cottage he was ultimately destroyed, various memorials and newer structures were rebuilt during the Song and Qing Dynasties as a way of honoring one of southern China’s most revered artists.
For anyone with an interest in Chinese literature the newly constructed Hall of Great Poets features statues of 12 prominent Chinese poets and a mural which depicts scenes from Du Fu’s legendary poems. Traditional gardens which range from banyan trees to bonsai trees provide a calming atmosphere and make the cottage complex an enjoyable visit even for those with little knowledge of ancient Chinese literature.