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Yellow Crane Tower

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../images/tuku/Yellow Crane Tower
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../images/tuku/Yellow Crane Tower

Yellow Crane Tower is a famous and historic tower, first built in 223 AD. The current structure, however, was rebuilt in 1981 at a one kilometre distance from the original site, and bears little resemblance to the historical Yellow Crane Tower. The tower stands on Sheshan (Snake Hill), at the bank of Yangtze River in Wuchang District, Wuhan, in Hubei province of central China. 

The original site of the tower is on the Yellow Crane Jetty, west of Xiakou. The Yuanhe Maps and Records of Prefectures and Counties notes that when Sun Quan built the fort of Xiakou, a tower is built on and is named after the jetty.

Warfare and fires destroyed the tower many times. In the Ming and Qing dynasties alone, the tower was destroyed 7 times, and was rebuilt and repaired 10 times. The last one in the Qing dynasty was built on 1868 and was destroyed on 1884. Its site was later occupied by the trestle of Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge in 1957. In 1981, the Wuhan city government decided to rebuild the tower at a new location, one kilometer from the historical site. The current tower was completed in 1985.

There are at least two legends related to Yellow Crane Tower. In the first, an Immortal named Wang Zian rode off on a yellow crane from Snake Mountain. A tower was later built in commemoration. In the second, after becoming an Immortal, Fei Wenyi would ride a yellow crane and often stop on Snake Hill to take a rest.

The tower is also a sacred site of Taoism. Lv Dongbin is said to be ascend to the heaven from here.

The top of the tower has a broad view of the surroundings and the Yangtze River. Yellow Crane Tower is considered one of the Four Great Towers of China. In its modern version it has the appearance of an ancient tower but is built of modern materials and includes an elevator as it was rebuilt in 1981. Displays are presented at each level. To the east on the hill, a large temple bell may be rung by tourists for a small fee. There are court dances in the western yard every year during the week long celebration of China's National Day (October 1). The tower is classified as an AAAAA scenic area by the China National Tourism Administration.

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