Life

Su Xiaoxiao Tomb

苏小小墓

Address: At the intersection of Beishan and Gushan roads北山路孤山路路口

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Su Xiaoxiao was a renowned poet and courtesan in the Southern Qi Dynasty (AD 479-502). For more than 1,500 years, her tomb has stood along Xiling Bridge, luring tourists who admire her intellectual talent and beauty. There are many stories attached to Su, but the most famous was the love story between her and a young scholar named Ruan Yu. Ruan was from Nanjing, Jiangsu Province. One day, he bumped into Su during his trip to Hangzhou. The young man was so infatuated with Su that the two soon fell in love. However, Ruan’s father was angry when he got to know that his son was involved with a courtesan. In the then patriarchal society, sons had to obey fathers’ orders. Without choice, Yu was compelled to leave Su and return to Nanjing. Later, Su died due to lovesickness. Her poem, known as “Song of Su Xiaoxiao,” reflected her love for Ruan — “I ride in a decorated carriage, my darling rides a blue-white horse. Where should we tie the knot for our heart? Under the Xiling pine and cypress.”

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