Mount Tai and the Mount Tai Temple.
Random photo: Impressions of China
Mount Tai (there are 6,293 step from the foot of the mountain to the top of it), also called Dongyue (Eastern Mountain), is located in Shandong Province. In Chinese culture, east is regarded as a sacred direction since it is where the sun and the moon rise. Therefore, though the mountain peak Yuhuangding 玉皇顶, or the Jade Emperor Peak (in Chinese mythology, Jade Emperor is the most powerful god in the heaven) is merely 1,524 meters above sea level. Mount Tai is respected as the head of China’s five sacred mountains. The Mount Tai Temple, together with the Confucius Temple in Qufu, the hometown of Confucius, and the Mountain Resort for Escaping the Heat, the former summer residence of the Qing Dynasty emperors at Chengde in Hebei Province, are the three large-scale ancient palaces.
The word “tai” in Chinese means stability and peace. Influential emperors in Chinese history like Shihuang of the Qin Dynasty, Wudi (140-87 BC) of the Han Dynasty, Taizong (626-649) of the Tang Dynasty, and Taizu (960-976) of the Song Dynasty, during the periods China became united and strong, had all come and held grand ceremonies to pay respect to Mount Tai.
Therefore, Mount Tai has always been important to the Chinese people. Ancient rulers usually paid homage to the mountain, in the hope of bringing good luck to their reign.
From the Middle Gate to Heaven, visitors can take a cable car to the South Gate to Heaven. The cable car is large enough to accommodate 40 passengers at a time. The Heavenly Street is an open platform with one side lined with shops and the other facing the valley with stone rails to protect tourists. Above the Heavenly Street is the Azure Cloud Temple, the largest-scale ancient compound on top of Mt. Tai, built in the Song Dynasty. The Jade Emperor Piak, the summit of Mt. Tai, is an ideal place to watch the sunrise and sun-set. The visibility is excellent, tourists can See the yonder Yellow River like a golden belt. Visitors admire Mount Tai for its grandeur, like a man full of virility.
Mount Tai’s four spectacular views 泰山四大景观 refer to the sunrise in the east 旭日东升, the sunset in the west 晚霞夕照, the under Yellow River resembling a golden belt 黄河金带, and sea of clouds like jade plates 云海玉盘.
The Mount Tai Temple 岱庙
According to historical records, construction of the Temple started as early as the Qin Dynasty more than 2,000 years ago and was greatly expanded during the Han, Tang, Song dynasties. Large-scale renovations were made in the later dynasties like the Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing. The main building known as the Hall of Celestial Gift. It is one of the three greatest palatial buildings in China, the other two being the Hall of Supreme Harmony in Bejing’s Forbidden City and the Hall of Great Accomplishment, the Hall of Calesteal Gift is 48.7 meters from east to west, 19.8 meters in width, and 22.3 meters high. Completed in 1009 in the Northern Song Dynasty, the Hall is a double-roofed palace-like wooden structure with carved beams, painted pillars, and upturned eaves, covered by Yellow glazed-tiles. Inside the Hall, a huge mural, 62 meters long and 3.3 meters high fully covers the east, north, and west walls. It is a masterpiece portraying the fascinating scenes of the emperor’s inspection tour, and how he returned from a hunting excursion. More than a thousand figures are in the picture, each with a distinct posture and facial expression. The lifelike, highly detailed work serves as an invaluable document in the study of traditional Chinese painting. Inside the compound of the Temple and shaded by the branches of ancient evergreen, there is another store of China’s cultural treasure—the Forest of Steles. It is a collection of the many steles and stone tablets of various succeeding dynasties, where tourists may indulge in ancient Chinese history and outstanding Chinese calligraphy. These steles encompass over 2,000 years from the Qin Dynasty to the early Qing Dynasty, and all have distinctive salient features.
Jade Emperor Peak 玉皇顶
Towering 1,545 meters above sea level, the Jade Emperor Peak has been long known as the Celestial Pillar 天柱峰. It is the summit of Mount Tai. The name of the Peak derived from the construction of the Jade Emperor Hall. Overlooking the other smaller peaks in its surroundings, it offers a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the entire area. In the summit, visitors can enjoy the sunrise while standing in the Sun-Viewing Pavilion lying to the east; in the west stands a River-Enjoying Pavilion, there tourists can appreciate afterglow 晚霞夕照 (sunset clouds), the golden belt of the Yellow River 黄河金带 and a bright full moon玉盘. To the Chinese people, Mount Tai is a symbol of greatness and grandeur. They use such expressions as “Mount Pillar” or “Mount Tai Beam” to refer to great historical figures. They say, “Death may be weightier than Mount Tai” in praise of those who laid down their lives for a worthy cause. And “as firm as Mount Tai” is also a popular phrase used to describe a strong character of dependability and determination. In ancient times, Mount Tai was defied by the feudal rulers of various dynasties and given the title “Divine Emperor of the East Peak.” From the first Emperor of the Qin Dynasty down to Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty, many of them personally visited Mount Tai to attend grand sacrificial ceremonies. Various other titles also were lavishly offered to the “Divine Emperor of the East Peak” by them as a means to have their own names forever remembered. These royal visits contributed to the construction of many temples, pavilions and other buildings.
More About The Shandong Province
- Liugong Island
Weihai has three county-level cities: Rongcheng, Wendeng and Rushan.
- Mount Tai
and the Temple.
- Qingdao Introduction
Known as a pearl on the Yellow Sea, Qingdao is surrounded on three sides by water, with Laoshan Mountain as a backdrop.
- Qufu Introduction
Qufu is the birthplace of Confucius.
- Jinan Introduction
Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province, has long served as political, economic, scientific and technological, cultural, and educational center for the province.