The Yellow Crane Tower is the most important tourist attraction and the "visiting card" of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province in China. The tower rises above the city in a place called "snake mountain" or "snake mountain".
The first tower in this place was built around 220, when the era of "three kingdoms" or "three kingdoms" was going on in China. This was a short period in the history of China, when there were three states, waging constant wars with each other. These kingdoms were called Wei, Wu and Shu.
Wuhan was a major city in the kingdom of Wu, and was near the border with the strongest kingdom of Wei. Wuhan was always in the center of the country, and then suddenly became a border town under constant threat. The tower had two purposes - it looked out for enemies, and it also served as an observation post for fires in the city. The best place to build a watchpoint was not found.
For lovers of romance tell a legend about the construction of the tower, which many will seem much more interesting than the historical information about the civil war in ancient China.
"Once near this place stood a drinking establishment, which one evening went Taoist priest. He asked for a drink, but he did not have any money at all. The owner of the tavern rudely refused him, but the host's son treated the guest. And so the priest went here every day for six months.
After six months of free drinking, the priest said that he wanted to thank the owner's son for his generosity and painted a yellow crane on the wall. And as soon as the master's son clapped his hands, the crane began to dance, although it was painted.
Soon the institution became the most popular in the city and in the whole province, and the owners became very rich. But 10 years later the priest returned, played the flute and flew to the sky on a yellow crane. The first tower was built by the very son of the owner of the tavern. "
Translation of the story of a native of Wuhan.
The first tower of the "Three Kingdoms" era was only two stories high. In the photo on the left you see a mock-up of this building, created by Chinese historians.
Now the whole tower is a large museum, and on one of the floors are miniature models of all four towers that stood here once.
Three previous versions of the Yellow Crane Tower were burned by fires. It's funny that the Yellow Crane Tower was always a key element in protecting Wuhan from fires, but it burned itself in the fire.
Traditional Chinese architecture is wooden structures, and their scourge is fire. It would seem that there is a developed fire safety and fire fighting system in the Forbidden City in Beijing, and he burned three times. Perhaps the only man-made landmark of China that never burned is the Great Wall of China .
Each new tower differed not only in size, but also in style, and corresponded to the architectural preferences of its era.
The second version was already three floors, the third even more and the latest version of the Yellow Crane Tower was already five-story. We were not mistaken when we used the word "was", since it was destroyed in 1884.
The Yellow Crane Tower in its present form was built anew in 1981-1985, while the plans of the latest version of the structure were used. The new Yellow Crane Tower has become a popular place for Wuhan and city visitors. Now it is an interesting tourist attraction.
Immediately after entering the tower, tourists see a huge mosaic (pictured right). We do not have exact data on its size, but "by sight" is 5 by 2.5 meters. This picture depicts a scene from the legend, which we retold earlier in this article.
The painting depicts a tower and a Taoist priest flying to the sky on a yellow crane. This is not very true from the point of view of the legend, because the tower was built after the death of the Taoist. The priest is depicted with a flute in his hands, and it was with the help of this musical instrument that he controlled the crane.
For European tourists it is unclear what exactly is the romantic in the crane? Why does this legend cause such awe among the Chinese? The fact is that according to Chinese beliefs it is the crane that takes the souls of dead people to heaven.
Pay attention to the clouds in the mosaic. It is certainly an exaggeration, the city of Wuhan itself is almost at sea level, and the tower itself is no more than 100 meters high. But here it is really foggy, the fog is generated by the Yangtze River and the Han River, which flows into the Yangtze at this very place. The fogs over the Yangtze River are even sung by Russian poet and musician Boris Grebenshchikov in the song of the group "Aquarium" of the same name.
In the photo below, you can see the mist photographed in January. This photo was taken from the top floor of the Yellow Crane Tower. It's just a fog, and I just could not. Wuhan is not an industrial center, but rather a science city. There are several important research institutes here, but there are almost no large "smokers".
On the second floor there are miniatures of all the towers that were built here. On the third and fourth floors you will find an exhibition of Chinese art. Here are exhibited paintings, furniture, calligraphy and mosaics. You can see a lot of photos in our gallery .
The building itself, although built recently, is fully reproduced in the old style. It was still wooden. A close-up showing interesting Chinese architecture is shown in the photo below.
In addition to the tower itself, there is a pond with fish and many other buildings. The most interesting building is a small pagoda in which there is a stone with a poem. It is believed that these lines belong to Mao Zedong himself.
These inscriptions are difficult to read for the Chinese themselves, and not all guides can read this poem and translate it to tourists. It is better to remember another poem that was written by Kui Hao in the 8th century.
Translate it into a poetic form in Russian was problematic, Chinese poetry is quite specific. We had to translate what our Chinese business partner, with whom we visited this landmark, told us in English.
For a long time he flew away on a yellow crane, and only the tower of the yellow crane remained here.
The yellow crane disappeared, and only the clouds float unhurriedly.
The Hanouan tree is clearly reflected in the river, the lush grass grows on the island of Paro.
Tell the sunset, in what direction is my hometown? It is impossible not to feel sad for a misty river.
Translation of chinainfoguide.info
In the park you can see a few more interesting places. There is a bamboo alley in which one can see the very unpleasant habit of the Chinese. They like to write on bamboo inscriptions like "Lee and Zang were here." All this bamboo grove is cut with such inscriptions.
Near the tower is installed a large bell, which was used to alert the fire if fire or smoke is noticed from the tower. We could not find out if it was possible to beat it for a fee. If you can not, but you really want, then go to Wuhan Temple Guiyang , there is definitely such a service.
The Yellow Crane Tower is very important for the residents of Wuhan. For tourists it is an opportunity to see ancient Chinese architecture and works of art. Also, the peace and quiet of this place will give you relaxation after a tumultuous metropolis, such as the city of Wuhan has become for a long time. If you are interested in entertainment, then it is better to choose in favor of the Hubei Museum or Wuhan Zoo .
We wish all readers a pleasant stay in China, and read our useful and interesting articles about this country ( links below ).