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Yellow Crane Tower

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  • Yellow Crane Tower
    Yellow Crane Tower
  • Beautiful Scenery near the Tower
    Beautiful Scenery near the Tower
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Guess all Chinese without exception know Yellow Crane Tower, at least, the name. For 'Huanghe Lou' (in Chinese) is right there in the lines of renowned poems what a three-old kid babbles out randomly, leaving aside their imagination of it being an animal or something to eat. Due to its high frequency of being quoted or mentioned, everyone develops their unique feelings toward the tower before they witness the real features. In a word, Yellow Crane Tower deserves its fame.

Legend goes that that here used to be a wine-shop opened by a young man surnamed Xin. One day, a Taoist priest, in order to thank the man for his favor of free wine, drew a magic crane on the wall and told it to dance on hearing claps. Since then, thousands of people came to see the spectacle and the wine shop was always full of guests. After 10 years, when the Taoist priest's revisit the wine shop, he played the flute and then rode on the crane to the sky. In order to memorize the supernatural encounter and the priest, the Xins built a tower here named Yellow Crane Tower.

According to records, the tower was first built in 223 AD during the Three Kingdoms period (220 - 280). After completion, the tower once served as a gathering place for celebrities and poets to make merry and compose poetry. It was estimated that up to the Tongzhi Reign of the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911), as many as 300 poems about the tower had been found in the historical literature, in which 'Yellow Crane Tower' wrote by Cui Hao, a famous poet of Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) made the tower well known throughout China.

Erected at the bank of the Yangtze River in the Wuchang District, Wuhan City, the Yellow Crane Tower is 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) away from its original site for the tower was newly built in the year 1985. The five-storied tower is 51.4 meters (about 169 feet) high with the roof and eaves covered with golden glazed tiles. Grand and posing as it is, the more than sixty upturned eaves showing in four directions resemble yellow cranes spreading wings gracefully to fly. Inside the five floors are displayed frescos, couplets and some cultural relics. Famous lines of praising the tower are found in it.

In fact, Yellow Crane Tower had undergone many misfortunes since its existence in the year 223 DC. Continuous warfare made the reconstructions and the repairs of the tower a common work. It is said that rebuilding and repairing work had been carried on for four times respectively in the Qing Dynasty only. No matter how it was destroyed, the tower appeared again, reflecting the fortune of the contemporary dynasty. The tower suffered its last misshape in the year 1884. Though the floor had been added from two to three after each renovation, even five stories of the existing one, the unique style and posing grandness had been kept till now.

With its original function of ministry gave place to a scenic spot for junketing and chanting in the Tang Dynasty, Yellow Crane Tower had witnessed the artistic talent of many celebrities including Cui Hao, Li Bai, Bai Juyi, Jia Dao etc. Famous lines of some are still widely read nowadays.

Yellow Crane Tower together with Yueyang Pavilion in Hunan Province and Tengwang Pavilion in Jiangxi Province is praised as the Three Most Notable Towers in the south of the Yangtze River.

 Entrance Fee: CNY 80

 Opening Hours: 
07:30 - 18:00 (Mar., Oct. & Nov.; no admission after 17:45)
07:00 - 18:45 (Apr. to Sep.; no admission after 18:30)

 Bus Routes: Take Bus No.1, 4, 10, 61, 64, 108, 401, 402, 411, 413 or 584 and get off at Huanghelou stop.

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