Situated in the north of the West Lake in Hangzhou is an extraordinary testimony of Chinese culture: the Imperial Library We Lan Ge. Built in 1784, in the 49th year of the emperor’s Qianlong Regency, the library is one of the seven official libraries scattered throughout China to store The Complete Books of the Four Treasuries. It is one of the three libraries south of the Yangtze.
The Complete Books of the Four Treasuries were collected in the 18th century. It is the largest, state-composed, existing book series of ancient China. It plays an irreplaceable role in the heritage of traditional Chinese culture.
The existing Wen Lan Ge Pavilion and its annexes were rebuilt in 1880 during the Guangxu Regency in the Qing Dynasty. It is the only library rebuilt by Qing emperors to preserve book series, now preserved with both, the books and the buildings, providing an incomparable testimony to the ancient Chinese culture of the book collection.