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Yellow Crane Tower

Yellow Crane Tower (Huanghe Tower) is an imposing pagoda close to the Yangzi River. Located on top of the Snake Hill in Wuhan City, the Yellow Crane Tower was built 1,700 years ago (223 AD) during the Three Kingdoms Period. It is the most famous tower among the three well-known towers (the Yellow Crane Tower, Yueyang Tower andTenwang Pavilion) in south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

At first it was a wine-shop run by Mrs. Xin. A Taoist priest wanted to thank Mrs. Xin for her favor of free wines of thousand cups, so he drew a magic crane on the wall and told it to dance to live things up before he left. After that this wine shop was always full of guests and the business is booming. The Taoist priest revisited the wine shop after ten years. This time he played the flute and then rode on the crane to fly op to the sky. Therefore Mrs. Xin built a tower named Yellow Crane Tower after she got rich.

Splendid and magnificent, naturally it becomes an interesting place within the four seas. Celebrities in successive Zhang Juzhen etc. have come here to make merry and compose poetry. Cui Hao's poet "Yellow Crane Tower" has been regarded as an excellent work for a long time and many people can recite it. This poet has made a lot of people to remember Yellow Crane Tower, and so it is a natural thing for them to feel excited when the new tower has been completed.

There are a lot of touching legends about this tower, one of which being as follows: A man named Fei Wei practice austerities to be an immortal in Yellow Crane Hill, and then he go to heaven riding on a yellow crane. Cui Hao's poet was concerned with legend. The Yellow Crane Tower has been crowned with unrivaled scenery under heaven.

The Tower used to be of complete wood structure. Destroyed many times by fire, the tower was rebuilt several times. Complete renovation of the tower began in 1981, and was completed and open to public in 1985. The design of the new tower was modeled on its last design of the Qing Dynasty.

The old Yellow Crane Tower was a three-storey building, which was 9 zhangs and 9 chis high (with 7 chis high bronze top). The new tower looks very magnificent with five storeies, which is 51.4 meters high in all (with 5 meters high gourd shape top) and 20 meters than the old one. The ground floor of the old tower is 15 meters wide in each side and the new one's ground floor is 20 meters wide. Therefore we can say that Yellow Crane Tower has been reconstructed instead of being renowated.

The new tower was designed according to people's modern needs and varying aesthetic conceptions, and at the same time it has kept some characteristics of the old one.

--to the tune of Pu Sa Man
by Mao Zedong in Spring 1927

Wide, wide flow the nine streams through the land,
Dark, dark threads the line from south to north.
Blurred in the thick haze of the misty rain
Tortoise and Snake hold the great river locked.

The yellow crane is gone, who knows whither?
Only this tower remains a haunt for visitors.
I pledge my wine to the surging torrent,
The tide of my heart swells with the waves.

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