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Top 4 Ancient Pavilions in China


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1.Yellow Crane Tower
Yellow Crane Tower is located on Snake Hill in Wuhan, Hubei Province. Its cultural significance led to its being made the symbol of Wuhan City.

The Yellow Crane Tower has a very long and complicated history. Due to the ideal location, it was built by Sun Quan in 233 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. During the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907), many popular poems made the Tower so renowned and induced for people to visit. During the following centuries, it was destroyed and rebuilt several times. In 1884, it was completely destroyed in a fire and was not rebuilt until 1981.

The tower had different architectural features in different dynasties. It stands 51.4 meters (about 168 feet) high and has five floors. 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 Yellow Crane Tower offers visitors an abundance of things to see. The exhibit on each floor has a theme. 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.

2.Yueyang Pavilion
The Yueyang Pavilion is an ancient architectural treasure located on the shores of Dongting Lake in Yueyang City, Hunan Province. The Yueyang Pavilion is a three storey; rectangular building which reaches 15 meters high and is constructed entirely from wood. Surprisingly, no nails or beams have been used in its construction. Pillars have been included in the construction to ensure the strength of the building. Four pillars support the entire pavilion; twelve pillars support the eaves of the first storey and a further twelve pillars have been included to support the second storey. The roof of the pavilion is built using unusual curved lines which are similar to the shape of a helmet used by a knight of ancient times.

The age of the pavilion is disputed. However, it is generally believed that the pavilion was built more than 1,700 years ago. It was not until the Tang Dynasty that it was renamed as the Yueyang Pavilion. The Yueyang Pavilion was damaged in the chaos of wars and was rebuilt in the Song Dynasty (960-1127). Since then, it has become a tourist attraction and a place of inspiration for both poets and writers. The pavilion was made very famous by the works of Fan Zhongyan who was a great politician and writer.

Seen from a distance, the Yueyang Pavilion seems like a giant bird which is in flight. The red building with its yellow glazed roof tiles is a splendid and colorful sight. Views here are spectacular. You will see the pavilion glowing in the sunshine together with the drifting clouds as reflections on the glimmering surface of the Dongting Lake. You will also see the white sails of passing boats contrasting with the blue sky. Couplets and carved screens are hung on the wall inside the building providing the visitors with the history of this pavilion.

3.Tengwang Pavilion
Tengwang Pavilion is located on the shore of the Kan, in Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province. In terms of its height, overall size and architectural style, this pavilion is a prime example of such buildings for which China is justifiably famous.

It was destroyed by fire during the conflicts between the Northern Warlords in 1926. The current building is the result of rebuilding that was carried out between 1983 and 1989. The existing pavilion is even more spectacular and magnificent than its predecessors.

Reached by a Nine-zigzag bridge and surrounded by rock gardens and lakes, it is built in the architectural style of the Song Dynasty (960-1279). It is in fact a complex and not just a single structure. The principle building, covering 47,000 squares meters, is nine storied and 57.5 meters in height. Two smaller pavilions stand on the north and south sides of the main building. Their elegance and simplicity is set off by glazed jade-green tiles on the roof, pretty eaves and red pillars. Engraved screens enhance the interiors.

Tengwang Pavilion was always a place where learned men gathered to write articles and hold banquets, therefore the display in the new pavilion gives prominence to culture. A variety of bass-relief and frescoes demonstrate that men of talent have brought glory to this place. The plagues, steles, couplets on the columns of the hall are all selections of celebrities. Musical instruments, bronze sacrifice, ritual article, serial bells impart a classical elegance to this new pavilion.

4.Penglai Pavilion
Built in 1061, the Penglai Pavilion is a famous coastal tourist site in eastern China's Shandong Province. It is seated on the cliff of Danya Mountain close to the sea in the north of Penglai City.

It is said that the eight immortals got drunk at the castle and crossed the sea using magic, without ships. It is a very good place to witness a magical mirage because it often occurs here, and it is also a good place to appreciate the magnificent scene of the sun rising in the morning.