Iron Lock Pass
Iron Lock Pass is one of the history that is rarely mentioned which actually show the importance of Yangtze river. According to the historical materials, Iron lock pass was not only used to prevent invasion in war times, but also used as toll-gate in peace times.
Caotang river, a small branch of the Yangtze river, is located on the northern bank of Qutang Gorge, opposite the Mengliang stairway. There is a huge stone bearing two iron posts along the way where Caotang river flows into the Yangtze river. Also, there is a stone hole on the southern bank. In ancient times, in order to block the Yangtze river and prevent the intrusion of the enemy, people threaded iron chains between the hole and the posts, so it is called Iron Lock Pass. It was first built during Tang dynasty while in song dynasty, a general called Xu Zongwu deployed seven iron chains with a total length of 920 meters to prevent the invasion of the Mongolia Army in the year 1264.
The Iron Lock Pass was also used as a tax pass in ancient times, when commercial ships passing through the Yangtze river, officials collected tax from them. It became the biggest tax toll-gate of China since Tang and Song dynasty. It can be deduced that since Tang Dynasty, the economy and transportation started have been flourishing.
As far as transportation concerned, tourists can visit Iron Lock Pass by car or by plane to Chongqing, Wuhan or Yichang first. While along the Yangtze River, there are plenty of cruises for people to choose.
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