Yueyang Tower

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Photo source: hunan.gov.cn

Standing on the bank of Dongting Lake in the northwest of Yueyang City, Yueyang Tower, along with the Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan and the Prince Teng's Pavilion in Nanchang, is one of the three great towers in south of the Yangtze River. It used to be a watchtower for the soldiers garrisoning the city gate and taking a test. However, towards the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty, this tower was changed to an inspection tower to review troops by General Lu Su of the Wu Kingdom(222). In 716 during the Tang Dynasty when Secretariat Director Zhang Yue was garrisoning Yueyang, he further expanded the tower and named it Nanlou or Yueyang Tower. In 1044 when the Song Dynasty general Tang Zijing garrisoned the place, he renovated the Yueyang Tower and invited his bosom friend, Fan Zhongyan, a well-known writer, to compose an essay Records of the Yueyang Tower, which won the tower great fame home and abroad.

Photo source: yueyang tower scenic area management committee

The Yueyang Tower is unique in architecture. Its three-storey main building is 21.35 meters high, with four huge nanmu pillars supporting the upturned roof ridges. One of its unique features is that its roof looks just like a general's helmet. 

Each floor of the tower exhibits couplets written by famous men of letters in Chinese history. The ground and first floors feature each a carved screen of Records of Yueyang Tower. The one on the first floor was hand-written by  Zhang Zhao, a great calligrapher in the 18th century. On the third floor a screen shows a famous 8th century poet Du Fu's poem which was Mao Zedong's calligraphy. In 1988 Yueyang Tower was named by the State Council as a key cultural relic site under state-level protection as well as a national scenic site. In 2000 it was among the first batch of national AAAA tourist resorts. 

In Yueyang Tower, tourists can find poems, paintings, calligraphic works, tree-root carvings, and the different models of Yueyang Tower of the Song (960-1279), Yuan (1271-1368), Ming (1368-1644)and Qing(1636-1912) Dynasties. The tourist attractions on both sides of Yueyang Tower include the Thrice Drunken Pavilion, Xiao Qiao's Tomb, Immortal's Plum Pavilion, and Pavilion Dedicated to Du Fu.

On the afternoon of September 6, 2011, Yueyang's Junshan Islet Scenic Spot, Xiangtan's Shaoshan and Zhangjiajie's Tianmen Mountain Scenic Area in Hunan Province are ranked as 5A-class tourist attractions by the National Commission on Rating the Quality of Tourist Attractions. Since 2005, Yueyang City started to build Junshan Islet Scenic Spot into a 5A-class tourist attraction and accordingly established the Junshan Islet Scenic Spot Administration Committee and set the goal in the government work report for three consecutive years. With unified planning, construction and marketing, the scenic spot has improved its environment and service and welcomed bettering reputation and economic benefit. This year, the number of tourists and tourism revenue witnessed a monthly increase of more than 20%.

Transport: Bus Nos.2 and 9 

Tel: (86)730-8311676

Admission fee: RMB 70 yuan/adult

Opening hours: 8:00 -16:00

Source: enghunan.gov.cn; yueyang.gov.cn