Why is The Yellow Crane Tower special?
Located on Snake Hill at the bank of Yangtze River in Wuchang District, Wuhan, the Yellow Crane Tower is one of the Three Famous Towers in China. The other two are Yueyang Tower in Hunan and Tengwang Tower in Jiangxi.
The Yellow Crane Tower Highlights
It is said that the Yellow Crane Tower named after a beautiful legend. There used to be a wine shop opened by a young man. One day, a Taoist priest, in gratitude for free wine, drew a magic crane on the wall of the shop and instructed it to dance whenever it heard clapping. The wine shop was always full of guests because thousands of people came to see this magic crane. After 10 years, the Taoist priest revisited the wine shop. He played the flute and then rode on the crane to the sky. In memory of the supernatural encounter and the priest, the young man built a tower and named it Yellow Crane Tower.
The Yellow Crane Tower has a very long history. It was first built in 223, during the Three Kingdoms Period (220 - 280). Due to the ideal location, it was built by Sun Quan (182 - 252, King of Wu) as a watchtower for his army. After hundreds of years, its military function was gradually forgotten and the tower was enjoyed mainly as a picturesque location.
The tower served as a gathering place for celebrities and poets to party and compose poetry. It was these poems that made the Tower so renowned. It was estimated that up to the Qing dynasty, as many as 300 poems about the tower had been found in historical literature. Cui Hao, a famous poet during the Tang dynasty (618-907), made the tower well known throughout China with his poem "Yellow Crane Tower".
During the following centuries, it was destroyed and rebuilt several times. During the Ming (1368 - 1644) and Qing (1644 - 1911) Dynasties alone the tower was destroyed seven times and rebuilt seven times. In 1884, it was completely destroyed in a fire and was not rebuilt until 1981.
The original site of the Yellow Crane Tower is occupied to construct of the approach span of Yangtze River Bridge. In 1981, the reconstruction is completed on Snake Hill which is about 1 kilometer away from the former site.
The new Yellow Crane Tower, 51.4 meters high, is five-storied with yellow tiles and red pillars, overlapping ridges and interlocking eaves, more magnificent than the former one. The tower is regarded as the symbol of Wuhan city.
The Yellow Crane Tower offers visitors lots of things to see. The exhibit on the first floor is about legend of Yellow Crane Tower. The third floor mainly shows poems written to praise the tower in different dynasties. On top of the tower, visitors could enjoy a fabulous panoramic view of the Yangtze River and the surrounding buildings in Wuhan City. Outside the tower, there are bronze yellow cranes statue, memorial gateways and pavilions.