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White Emperor City

White Emperor City

History of White Emperor City

White Emperor City, located at the north bank of Yangtze River, is 451 kilometers from Chongqing. Towards the end of the Western Han Dynasty, Gongsun Shu declared independence in this area called himself the King of Shu. Because he saw white smoke which looks like a white dragon came from a well in this city. So, later he called himself the White Emperor (In ancient China, dragon is thought to be the embodiment of emperor). That is how this place got its name. In the year 223, Liubei, emperor of State Shu, entrusted his son to his prime minister Zhuge Liang at Yongan palace in the White Emperor City which makes the place even more famous. (More Details)

Sceneries of White Emperor City

Several hundred steps lead you up to the wooded Baidi Mountain. The Western Pavilion on the slope is believed to have been occupied by the great poet Du Fu, who wrote numerous poems here. The pavilion overlooks what Du Fu described as "the limitless Yangtze". There is also a stupa on the hill, marking the grave of a much--loved literary monk who served at the Baidi Temple during Qing dynasty.

A red wall with an imposing yellow dragon-head gateway surrounds the temple complex. Though the temple was originally dedicated to Gong Sunshu, the White Emperor, his statue was removed in Ming dynasty and replaced with images of Liu Bei, Zhuge Liang, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, heroes of the Shu Kingdom during the Three Kingdoms period. The present halls date from Ming dynasty.

The front hall contains large statues which depict Liu Bei entrusting his son to Zhuge Liang, his prime minister. To the left is the beautiful, winged Star Observing Pavilion (GuanXing Pavilion), where a large bronze bell can be seen hanged in the upper storey. From this pavilion Zhuge Liang observed the stars and made accurate weather forecasts which helped him plan his victorious battles.

The Wuhou Shrine is dedicated to Zhuge Liang, his son and grandson. The bodies of the statues are from Ming dynasty. But the heads, which were smashed in the Cultural Revolution, are new. Mingliang Hall is dedicated to Liu Bei, Who is shown surrounded by four attendants, as well as the black-faced Zhang Fei and the red faced Guan Yu on one side, and Zhuge Liang on the other. Adjoining rooms display furniture, scrolls, porcelain and other cultural relics.

In 1987, several buildings were converted to form a museum displaying the many cultural relics found within the area, including two coffins from the Ba culture. One of these dates back to the Western Han dynasty.

Fine views of the entrance to Qutang Gorge can be seen from the temple. As the Three Gorges Dam begins to take effect, the water level will rise and Baidi Mountain will become an island.

At the foot of Baidi Mountain, Yanyu Rock-over 30 metres (100 feet) long, 20 metres (66 feet) wide and 40 metres (130 feet) high--used to be a constant hazard to boats riding the swift current and heading into the narrow entrance of Qutang Gorge. Over the ages, countless vessels perished. In l959 it took a work team seven days to blow up this gigantic rock.

Culture of White Emperor City

In Baidi Temple, there are 73 ancient poem stone tablets, forming the East Forest of Stone Tablets and the West Forest of Stone Tablets; the most precious of them are the tablet at the tomb of Long Shangong, the Tablet for the Three Kings with phonix, peony and Chinese parasol tree inscribed on it, and the Tablet of Bamboo Leaves which combines poems and paintings into it. As many poems were written about the White Emperor City, it is also known as "the city of poems".

And the antiques and handicrefts exibited are over 1000 items. The most famous one is the Bronze Sword of Bashu. Its shape is like a willow leaf. And it presents the wisdom and craftsmanship of ancient Ba people. (More Details)

Present Days of White Emperor City

The peresent White Emperor City were recontructed in Ming and Qing Dynasty, including Mingliang Palace, Wuhou Temple, Gunajing (sightseeing) Pavilion and so on. And there are also the statues of Liubei, Zhuge Liang, Guanyu and Zhangfei. After the completion of Three Gorges Dam Project, White Emperor City is surrounded by water. Then, the view of it is more attractive.