The West Lake in Hangzhou is surrounded by hills on three sides, and Phoenix Hill is one of them. It is located in the southeastern corner, 178 meters above sea level. It was named Phoenix Hill because it is shaped like a flying phoenix. On the hill there are a large number of strangely shaped rocks, of which the most famous is the moon rock, it is particularly suitable for enjoying the full moon.
Phoenix Hill was of great historical significance. In the Sui dynasty it became the seat of the city government and in 907 it became the capital of the Wuyue kingdom. During the Southern Song dynasty, an imperial city was built on the hill. The city covered an area of over 20 square kilometers and comprised 30 palaces, 33 halls, 26-story pavilions, 7 towers, 6 terraces and 90 pavilions. Even, an artificial ‘little West Lake’ was built in the city, surrounded by an embankment lined with willow trees. At the turn of the Song and Yuan dynasties, these palaces were converted into temples destroyed by fire during the Yuan Dynasty. At the moment there are still ruins of the Baoguo Temple and Phoenix Pool on the hill.
The famous Wansong Academy, where Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai studied, is also on the hill. Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai are main characters of the famous Chinese folklore – Butterfly Lovers, an equivalent of Romeo and Juliet.