Wudang Mountain (wǔ dāng shān 武当山), situated in Shiyan (shí yàn 十堰) City, Hubei Province, China, has been called the No. 1 Celestial Mountain in China. It comprises of 7peaks, 36 cliffs and 24 valleys. Its main peak, called Heavenly Pillar Peak (tiān zhù fēng 天柱峰) stands at a statuesque 1612m and together with the other mist-shrouded peaks, creates a spectacular vision. Wudang Moutain, with its natural beauty exquisite architecture and rich history, is worthwhile a detour from Wuhan. For its enchanting scenery and the legend of home of gods, many Taoists and hermits came to cultivate in Wudang Mountain, it was regarded as the origin place of China Taoism. Wudang Mountain is honored across China with the sobriquet as “the first famous mountain under heaven.” Today, it’s recognized as an architectural achievement and in 1994, UNESCO bestowed Wudang Moutain World Cultural Heritage status.
Golden Palace（jīn diàn 金殿） The Golden Palace (jīn diàn 金殿) is on the top of Heavenly Pillar Peak is the essence and symbol of Wudang Mountain, the sign of Wudang Taoism coming to the highest peak under the support of the imperial families.
Standing in front of Golden Palace, you can have a panoramic view of the beautiful scene of Wudang Mountain, as far as 400 kilometers away. All the peaks are stopping at the static moment, just like raged waves, which wonderfully advertises the holy prestige and lofty imperial power. Meanwhile, you can also view many fantastic natural astronomical phenomena and learn many widespread fairy tales.
We can say that Golden Palace of Wudang Mountain has a strong attraction to visitors and pilgrims. With the development of tourist industry, the visitors coming to Wudang Mountain will increase progressively every year. Standing in Golden Palace, all the view will imbue you with a sense of surprise and piety.
Purple Cloud Palace（zǐ xiāo gōng 紫霄宫）
The nucleus construction of Purple Cloud Palace (zǐ xiāo gōng 紫霄宫), The Grand Hall is the only left double-eaved, lean-to-hill, wooden building. As one of the quite rare building of uplift wooden crossbeam construction in the history of the Taoist architecture, the Grand Hall is scientific and rational in structure and overall arrangement, harmonious and coherent in artistic style, united with surroundings as a whole, and unique in taste and features among the buildings in Wudang Moutain. Meanwhile, the Grand Hall, having absorbed the techniques of various times' artisans, demonstrated great achievements of architectures in Ming and Qing Dynasties, therefore, worthy of visiting and researching.
The Tianyi Zhenqing Palace （tiān yǐ zhēn qìng gōng 天乙真庆宫） In the South Cliff View-site, the most famous architecture is a stone palace named the Tianyi zhenqing Palace (tiān yǐ zhēn qìng gōng 天乙真庆宫). It's said that after Zhenwu ascended to heaven, he lived in a palace called the Tianyi Zhenqing Palace. Obviously the followers of Zhenwu on the earth built the palace. This stone palace is the one of the masterpieces of Chinese ancient architecture and is a representative of ancient Chinese stone buildings.
The Tianyi Zhenqing Palace is made of wood-like stones. The roof beams, pillars, square timbers, windows, doors, joints and decorations of animal sculptures on the roof ridges, were carved from green stones and then combined together. The whole palace, accurately designed, delicately structured, and exquisitely carved, is a masterpiece of the large Chinese stone carvings. The difficulties of building this palace on the steep cliff stretch our imagination to the limit.
The Tianyi zhenqing Palace was built by a famous Taoist Zhang-Shouqing (zhāng shǒu qìng 张守庆) at the beginning of the Yuan Dynasty (yuán cháo 元朝) and was finished 27 years later. Zhang went to Wudang Mountain at the age of 30 and led his thousands of disciples to reclaim wasteland, plant the land and cut the cliff and then left this marvelous spectacle for the later generations.
Wudang Mountain Scenic Area Location: 35km from Shiyan,Hubei Province, China Tel: 566 5571, 566 8567 Opening hours: 7:00 a.m. ---- 7:00 p.m. Admission fee: RMB 80
Spring, summers and autumns are the best seasons to visit Wudang Mountain. The moutain can be chilly near the top and be sure to have enough clothes for the nights.
You can stay on the moutain, but most prefer the convenience of staying closer to the town (called Laoying "lǎo yíng 老营" in the past), which is some 25km from the main peak.
In early April and early October there are dragon boat races at Wudang Moutain on the Han River (hàn jiāng 汉江). Every October, the weeklong Wudang International Tourism Festival takes place on the moutain with kung fu displays, photography exhibitions, and art exhibitions.