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Wuhan's Yellow Crane Tower

 2014-01-29    Ada    Tours    Wuhan    1585  

Most Chinese people can recite the ancient poem named "The Yellow Crane Tower" written by Cui Haoran. The tower is actually located on Snake Hill in Wuhan, Hubei Province. Enjoying the fame of 'The First Scenery under Heaven', Yellow Crane Tower is one of the most renowned towers south of the Yangtze River. Its cultural significance led to its being made the symbol of Wuhan City.

During the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907), many popular poems were written in praise of the tower. It was these poems that made the Tower so renowned and induced for people to visit. Just as other ancient spots, there is a legend about the tower too. According to legend, Yellow Crane Tower was built by the family of an old pothouse owner living in Wuhan City long ago, named Old Xin. One day, a shabbily dressed Taoist priest came to the pothouse and asked for some wine. Old Xin paid no attention to him, but his son was very kind and gave the Taoist some wine without asking for money.

The Taoist priest visited the pothouse regularly for half a year when one day the Taoist said to the son that in order to repay his kindness, he would like to draw a crane on the wall of the pothouse, which would dance at his request. When people in the city heard of this, they flocked to the pothouse to see the dancing crane. The Xin family soon became rich and they built the tower as a symbol of gratitude to the Taoist priest.

If you are expecting it to be an ancient building with long history, you may be disappointed. The present Yellow Crane Tower is a modern building that was built in the 1980s after the old Yellow Crane Tower was destroyed to make way for the Changjiang River Bridge that was completed in 1957. Warfare and fires destroyed the tower many times. In the Ming and Qing dynasties alone, the tower was destroyed 7 times, and was rebuilt and repaired 10 times.

The Yellow Crane Tower offers visitors an abundance of things to see. The appearance of the tower is the same regardless of the direction it is viewed from. The roof is covered by 100,000 yellow glazed tiles. With yellow upturned eaves, each floor seems to have been designed to resemble a yellow crane spreading its wings to fly. The exhibit on each floor has a theme, for example, the theme of the first floor is about legend. On the wall, there is a nine-meter (about 30 feet) long and six-meter (about 20 feet) wide painted porcelain picture which depicts clouds, rivers and cranes to represent a romantic mood in the heaven. The third floor mainly shows poems written to praise the tower in different dynasties.

On top of the tower, visitors are treated to a fabulous panoramic view of the Yangtze River, its bridge and the surrounding buildings in Wuhan City. Outside the tower, there are bronze yellow cranes, memorial gateways and pavilions.

Yellow Crane Tower is considered one of the Four Great Towers of China. The tower is classified as a AAAAA scenic area by the China National Tourism Administration. Seek the images in ancient poem about the tower in real essence now.

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