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Home Travel in Hunan Yueyang Tower
Yueyang Tower
Travel in Hunan

   Yueyang Tower
Yueyang Tower
(yuè yáng lóu 岳阳楼), also known as Yueyanglou throughout China, domineers over the west gate of the city-wall tower in Yueyang (yuè yáng 岳阳), Hunan Province, borders on the shore of Lake Dongting (dòng tíng hú 洞庭湖). It has an excellent reputation known as "the Grand Yueyanglou Pavilion" (yuè yáng tiān xià lóu 岳阳天下楼) for its magnificent vigour as well as the majestic structure, and it is also praised as one of the Three Great Towers of the south of China (jiāng nán sān dà míng lóu 江南三大名楼), alongside with the Pavilion of Prince Teng (téng wáng gé 滕王阁) and Yellow Crane Tower (huáng hè lóu 黄鹤楼).

Yueyang TowerThe Yueyang Tower has a long history of more than 1,700 years. Yueyang Tower was built in the period of the Three Kingdoms (sān guó 三国) and was primely used as the inspection tower. Lu Su (lǔ sù 鲁肃), the commander in chief of the forces of Wu, constructed a tower near the strategic location where Lake Dongting joins the Yangtze River, from which the whole of Lake Dongting was visible. He stood on the top floor of the tower to inspect and command ships for his naval training. Not until Tang Dynasty, the former officer Zhangshuo (zhāng shuō 张说) was exiled to Yueyang, rebuilt the tower and the name “The Yueyang Tower” came into use ever since. It was rebuilt in Song Qingli five year (AD 1045 sòng qìng lì wǔ nián 宋庆历五年) again and the tower existing today was reconstructed in Qing Tongzhi six year (AD 1867 qīng tóng zhì liù nián 清同治六年).
   Yueyang Tower
The configuration of Yueyang Tower is world unique and singular, three floors, flying eaves (fēi yán 飞檐), helmet roof (kuī dǐng 盔顶), and pure wooden structure (chún mù jié gòu 纯木结构). The whole building is 25.35 meters high, 17.2 meters wide, 15.6 meters deep, and covers an area of 251 square meters. Four sturdy pillars in the tower rise up highly to the ceiling, and the carving on the ceiling is of great exquisiteness and magnificence. It has cloister on the first and second floor and light gleamed on the yellow glazed tile roof (huáng liú lí wǎ wū dǐng 黄琉璃瓦屋顶). The entire tower was built of neither piece of nails nor a huge beam, which fully demonstrated the superb craftworks of Chinese ancient architecture.

Yueyang Tower is not only notable for ingenious construction, but also a world of art with a set of couplets (duì lián 对联), poems and folk tales rolled into one. Twelve sanders boards composed of a wooden screen with the whole text of Notes on Yueyanglou (yuè yáng lóu jì《岳阳楼记》) carved on it. Various couplets hanging around on the walls, the longest is more than 100 characters, while the shortest is merely made up of 8 characters.

   Yueyang Tower in Snow
Inside the tower there is a well known couplet written by the Tang poet Li Bai (lǐ bái 李白  701AD to 762AD). The couplet says: The water and the sky are in the same colour. It is scene of wind and moon but there is no wind. (shuǐ tiān yī sè, wú fēng wú yuè 水天一色,无风无月)

Yueyang Tower
on the west gate of Yueyang city
Admission fee: RMB 46
Opening hours: 7:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
Traffic: You can take bus No.2 or No.9 to get there directly.