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Baidicheng
   

Baidicheng

Baidicheng, which means 'White Emperor City' in Chinese, is located at the entrance of the Qutang Gorge and 8 kilometers from Fengjie County. It is not a real city, but a mini peninsular town with some temples and gates on top of Baidi Hill in Fengjie County. Climbing over 500 steps, you can reach the top. It is the starting point of Three Gorges and one reason the place is very famous in China is that Li Bai, a great poet in Tang Dynasty in the 7th century, had a very famous poem about this place.

It was named White Emperor City as early as the Western Han Dynasty in the 1st century AD. At that time there was a very ambitious general in this area, who wanted very much to make a rebellion and declared himself as a new emperor. One day he had a dream in which he saw a big white dragon rising from a well in the city. As in ancient Chinese culture, dragon represented emperor. He therefore believed that it was probably the will of God of Heaven and as a result, he named this place White Emperor City and later declared himself as a new emperor. However unfortunately he was then killed by Liuxiu, who established the Eastern Han Dynasty later. To commemorate this man, after his death, the local people built a temple here named White Emperor Temple.White Emperor City was the place where a popular story happened, which has been another reason that made it famous all over China. Liu Bei, the King of Shu Kingdom in Three Kingdom Period, before he was dead, entrusted his state power and his son to Zhuge Liang, his Prime Minister and talented advisor . Wax statues in the temple describe the moment in the year 220 AD.White Emperor City is also a center of historical relics in the Three Gorges. Preserved in this town are seventy-four stone tablets of the Sui, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties inscribed with poems, essays, antithetical couplets, pictures and calligraphy.

The calligraphy of the inscriptions on the stone tablets is in the styles of great and small seal characters, official
script of the Han Dynasty, script of the Wei Dynasty, regular script, running hand or cursive hand, each having its own characteristics. The most valuable inscription is to be found on the Memorial Tablet to Lord Longshan, which is executed in a forceful calligraphy that combines the styles of the southern and northern calligraphers. The inscription is about 1,300-1,400 years old. The tablet was unearthed in 1859 in the ninth year of Emperor Xianfeng's reign of the Qing Dynasty during which a fort was being built at the northwestern corner of the town of Fengjie. On the top edge of the same tablet are newly carved words: 'Flood water caused a disaster, rising to a level fifty feet higher than the town on the nineteenth day of the sixth month in the ninth year of the Tongzhi reign.' It is a truthful record of the notorious flood of the Yangtze River in 1870 and a rare piece of hydrological history.

 

 

 

 



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