Yunyang Introduction

Yunyang County lies upstream on the Yangtze River, about 337 kilometers (209 miles) east of the Chongqing Municipality . It covers an area of about 3,649 square kilometers (901,688 acres) and has about 1.25 million residents including some ethnic minorities. It is bordered by Fengjie County to the east, Wanzhou District to the west, Lichuan City of Hubei Province to the south and Wuxi County to the north.

Yunyang lies in a mountainous area and has a wide range of altitudes. The highest area is almost 1,800 meters (5,906 feet) above sea level and the lowest is only 90 meters (295 feet). It is hot in summer and warm in winter. The yearly average temperature is about 18.4oC (65.1oF). Many products produced in Yunyang are welcomed all around China such as tung oil, raw goat skin, tea, and vinegar.

In ancient times, Yunyang County was owned by different kingdoms during different periods. It was not until the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) that the name 'Yunyang' was finally settled upon. Yunyang has great potential for tourism as it rich in mountains, rivers, forests and other landforms. Zhangfei Temple is among the famous scenic spots.

Zhangfei Temple

Zhangfei Temple was originally built in the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280) to commemorate the great general of the Shu Kingdom- Zhang Fei . It was once backing onto the Feifeng Mountain of Yunyang County and facing the south bank of the Yangtze River. However, when the water storage level of the Three Gorges Reservoir rose to 135 meters (443 feet) above the river level in 2002, Zhangfei Temple had to be moved to a higher level, together with the whole Yunyang County inhabitants. In order to retain its original appearance, each component of the temple was disassembled and used to build up a new one following the same layout. Now rebuilt the new temple was opened to public in July, 2003.

Being 32 kilometers (20 miles) away from the original site, the new Zhangfei Temple is much bigger than the former one, taking up an area of 33,000 square meters (about 8 acres). Visitors almost found the very same layout of the former building complex and experience the same feelings. There is the Main Hall in which the statue of Zhang Fei is placed and the Jieyi Hall commemorating the Oath of the Peach Garden by which Zhang Fei, Liu Bei and Guan Yu became sword brothers. The Wangyun Pavilion and Zhufeng Pavilion are still what they were, elegant and quiet.

It is not only the architectures that boast great values but also a rich collection of calligraphic items and handicrafts enjoy high appreciations. There are an estimated 360 pieces of steles and rock carvings, and over 200 pieces of paintings and calligraphies from different dynasties. Some of them are of great value including a wood carving of the Yan Zhenqing's (a great calligrapher in Tang Dynasty (618-907) grass style, the stone carvings by Yue Fei (a general in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), and Huang Tingjian's (a poet and calligrapher in the Song Dynasty) hand writing as well as Zheng Banqiao's (a famous painter in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) writings and paintings. Many other celebrities also left their masterpieces here. No wonder it is reputed as 'The Land of Literal Works'.

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