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Juejiang Tower

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Yuejiang Tower, Nanjing

Overview

Yuejiang Tower is situated on the top of Shizishan (Lion Mountain) to the northwest of Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China. "Yue" is equivalent to "Enjoying" in Chinese while “River” refers to the world-famous Yangtze River. Ascending the tower, one can enjoy the Yangtze River extending far away to its north and the scenery of Nanjing to its south.

History & Background

In 1360, Zhu Yuanzhang defeated Chen Youliang’s 400,000 forces with his 80,000 army in Lu Longshan, which set up the basis for the reign of Ming Dynasty and for taking Nanjing as the capital. After proclaiming himself as the emperor, Zhu Yuanzhang changed Lu Longshan as the Lion Mountain in 1374. He ordered to build the Yuejiang Tower on top of the mountain and wrote the Note on Yuejiang Tower in person, although the tower was never built.

Yuejiang Tower was built first time and opened to the outside world in 2001. The building is 52 meters high, amounted to seven layers. With its distinct style of Ming Dynasty and classical royal makings, it is regarded as one of the Four Major Famous Buildings in Jiangnan with Yellow Crane Tower, Tengwang Pavilion and Yueyang Tower included.

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Yuejiang Tower has attracted tens of millions people to come to have a visit and tour. It has also been reported that the action ceremony of the documentary on Zheng He was set in Yuejiang Tower, Nanjing.

The architect is Professor Du Shunbao, a professor of Southeast University.

Function

Standing high atop the Lion Hillis, the tower is 52 meters high and has a floor area of more than 5,000 square meters in seven tiers. Taking an L-letter shape in the planar way, the tower's main wing faces north and the secondary wing faces west, taking on a unique "corner of two surfaces".

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On the first floor of the tower, you can see Zhu Yuanzhang's imperial chair which was made of high-quality rosewood. Nine dragons, in lively shapes, are engraved on the back of the chair with fine engraving skills. This chair is the unique one in China. Behind the chair is a big supporting wall plate, on which are engraved the Notes on the Yuejiang Tower written by Zhu Yuanzhang himself in golden words. Around the wall are some introductions to16 Emperors during the Ming Dynasty.

From the third to the fifth floor, there is a model of treasure junk and a porcelain painting of eunuch Zheng He making Voyages to Western Oceans.

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In order to expand the friendly relations with foreign countries, Zhu Di, Emperor Chengzu developed the shipbuilding in a big way to serve the openness to the outside world. According to records, the Longjiang Shipyard at the time was about 3 kilometers in scope. The biggest ship built in the shipyard was 138 meters long and 56 meters wide. It sailed with 12 sails on 9 masts, and could carry 7,000 tons of cargo or passengers. It could be regarded as the biggest ship in the world 600 years ago. 

On the top floor, you will appreciate the double-side embroidery of the Four Famous Towers. It was completed by 15 embroidering workers in more than half a year, consuming 1.5 kilograms of silk thread. On the surface is embroidered the four famous towers in China--the Yueyang Tower in Yueyang, Hunan province, the Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan, Hubei province, the Pavilion of Prince Teng in Nanchange, Jiangxi province and the Yuejiang Tower in Nanjing, Jiangsu province.

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The curling dragon ceiling over the top floor of the Yuejiang Tower is carved out from a whole Camphor tree. The dragon is 2 meters long and clad in 24K gold foil and looks resplendent and magnificent. The hundred-lion terrace is the treasure of the tower. The terrace and the 12 chairs are all made of best redwood. 106 lions are carved and there are a total of 659 lions in the scenic area when combined with the 553 stone lions in all shapes in other places in the scenic area, forming a unique view of "groups of lions playing over the Lion Ridge".

You can watch and appreciate the scenes over and along the Yangtze River from both wings. Climbing up the Yuejiang Tower, you can get a full view of the scenes on the immense river below. The view of all beautiful scenes of Nanjing is so panoramic that you will feel relaxed and pleasant, and so much that you can not see over. Brightly lit-up at night, the Yuejiang Tower is crystal-clear and magnificently shining. It is the best sentiment to watch and appreciate the lights and lanterns near, over or along the Yangtze River and the beautiful scenes of the city in the evening.

Why is Yuejiang Tower special?
The Yuejiang Tower, located on top of Lion Mountain at the northwest of Nanjing, is close to Yangtze River. It is 52 meters high, with seven floors in total. It offers a great vista of Yangtze River and beautiful scenery on the whole. With green glazed tile, red columns, and beautiful pattern, it is of unique style of Ming Dynasty as well as the classical royal manner and thus becomes one symbol of Nanjing.

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Highlights
In 1374, the first emperor of Ming Dynasty Zhu Yuanzhang defeated his enemy of 400,000 soldiers with his 80,000 army. And in order to commemorate his victory and provide a place to admire the beautiful scenery of the Yangtze River, he ordered to build the Yuejiang Tower on top of the mountain and also invited his leading scholars to write essays on the tower. But for a variety of reasons, the construction was given up halfway. Today's Yuejiang Tower was rebuilt in 1999 and opened to the public in 2001, which put an end to the history of “Passage but No Tower”.

There are two south-facing entrances in the tower. The tower has an elevator but tourists can have a scenic walk to the top from the entrance on the east. After entering Yuejiang Tower, people will see a huge-size picture of “The Adventures of Zheng He”. Zheng He was the admiral of the imperial navy in Ming Dynasty. The picture is 12.8 meters high and 8 meters wide. And inside the hall, there is one copy of Zheng He’s Boat and a huge rusty anchor which vividly proved that Nanjing was originally the major ship-building location for the adventures of Zheng He and the largest ship building base in the world at that time.

The highest balconies of Yuejiang Tower offer a breath-taking view over the broad Yangzi River. The gorgeous view will make tourists have an unforgettable memory.

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Information

Address: No. 202, Jianning Road, Gulou Strict, Nanjing
Tel: 025-58590297
Time for Visit: 2 hours
Admission Fee: CNY 40
Opening Hours: 7:00-18:00

How to get to Yuejiang Tower

Bus route: Take bus No. 16, 18, 21, 54

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