This coastal town in Guangdong was once historically famous alongside Tianjin Wei! 135steemCreated with Sketch.

in #journey2 months ago

After the establishment of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang, the founder of the Ming Dynasty, set up military and governmental institutions such as the capital, the guards and the place to guard the frontiers, fortresses and sea defences of the country, and divided the troops into guards.
In 1394, Zhu Liangzu, the founding general of the Ming dynasty, established the Jieshi Wei, which was under the jurisdiction of the Pinghai (now Pinghai District, Huidong County), Jiesheng (now Jiesheng District, Haifeng County) and Jiazhi (now Jiazhi Town, Lufeng City), and was home to 5,600 soldiers. Even the Dongsha Islands were under the jurisdiction of Jieshi Wei. This was the predecessor of today's Jieshi Town in Lufeng, Guangdong.
More than 600 years have passed, and although Jieshi Town has long since fallen short of the big cities such as Tianjin and Shenyang, the town, located on the shores of Jieshi Bay, still has its own story to tell, with a total area of 120 square kilometres, a coastline of 40.3 kilometres and a total household population of more than 250,000. For a town of its size, it is very prosperous.
Jieshi Town, Lufeng City, Guangdong Province, is bordered by Jieshi Bay to the east, across the water from Jinxiang Town, and across the river to the west, the urban area of Shanwei. When in Jieshi Town, Xuanwu Mountain is a must-see.
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The entrance fee to Xuanwu Mountain is 25 yuan, and the summit of the Fuxing Tower is 5 yuan, the total entrance fee is 30 yuan, which is not too expensive, but this is already the most expensive non-experiential attraction in the whole of Shanwei City, and Jieshi Town locals are also free of charge.
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Picture Xuanwu Mountain is a provincial scenic spot in Guangdong, and Xuanwu Mountain Yuanshan Temple is also one of the only two national key cultural relics protection units in Shanwei.
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The remnants of Jieshi's Ming and Qing guardships are hard to find, but Xuanwu Mountain is not only closely related to the history of Jieshi's ancient guardships but also has numerous inscriptions of famous people, making it by far the most visited historical monument in Jieshi Town.
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During the 600 years of naval defence in the Ming and Qing dynasties, Jieshiwei and the famous cities under its jurisdiction, such as Pinghai, Jiesheng and Jiezi, produced a large number of naval talents.
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Xuanwu Mountain is not really a mountain, it is a small tract of land at best, but as the saying goes, "A mountain is not high, but a fairy is a spirit", and it is known as a place to worship the gods from near and far.
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The temple is not very big, but it is said to be very spiritual. The ancient temple has exquisitely carved beams and paintings and contains more than 1,000 relics from the Song, Ming and Qing dynasties, which are of great artistic value.
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For the locals, Xuanwu Mountain is not yet primarily a tourist area, but a place to worship the gods, and locals come here to pay homage to the spirits during the New Year and when they encounter difficult problems.
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The legend about the spiritual sign at Xuanshan Temple has long been widely spread and well known, and not only do locals come to worship the Buddha and ask for the sign, but also many foreigners who have travelled all the way here.
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The "Spiritual Sound of Xuanwu" is also one of the eight scenic spots in Shanwei, which tells the story of how the sound of the spirit has spread far and wide over the centuries and is known both at home and abroad.
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The temple was built in 1127 in the Southern Song Dynasty, more than 890 years ago. During the Wanli period of the Ming Dynasty, Hou Jian Gao, the chief soldier of Jieshiwei, presided over the planning and expansion of the temple, turning it into a palace with typical Ming Dynasty architectural style and artistic features.
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And what is even more amazing is that in front of the Yuanshan Temple there are two natural turtle and snake boulders, one east and one west, guarding the temple and the pagoda, as if by divine help, can you tell that the boulder resembles a stone turtle?
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Xuanwu is one of the Four Spirits of Heaven in ancient Chinese mythology, also known as the Tortoise and Snake, which is the image of an entwined tortoise and snake, so these two boulders are a fitting touch to Xuanwu Mountain.
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In front of the Yuanshan Temple is a large theatre built during the Ming Wanli period. This theatre is also the largest preserved ancient temple theatre in eastern Guangdong, with its simple and majestic shape, and its wooden and stone carvings, characters, flowers and birds, and stories are vivid and varied.
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Whether you worship the gods or not, you can't go wrong with Yuanshan Temple. This modest temple is like a palace of local architectural art, with its exquisite inlaid porcelain, painted, grey and wood carvings, all of which make for a memorable visit.
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Inside, the temple is even more dazzling, with every detail exquisite. Shanwei is a crossroads of Chaoshan, Hakka and Guangfu cultures, and the Yuanshan Temple is more in the Chaoshan style.
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The hand-painted door gods in the Chaoshan style are particularly exquisite, with tall, realistic figures, fine lines and vibrant colours, each one a piece of art full of vernacular atmosphere.
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Although the Yuanshan Temple was badly damaged during the Cultural Revolution and many precious relics were destroyed, the plaques here are well worth a closer look.
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"Liu Yongfu, who was the chief soldier of Jieshiwei, was the general who defeated the French Black Flag Army in the history textbooks.
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The inscription "Pi冒海隅" was written by Fang Yao, who was once the chief soldier of Jieshi, the naval governor of the Guangdong province, and was responsible for the construction of many forts along the Guangdong coast, including the Humen Fortress.
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"This is the only imperial monument in the temple, and the one behind it, "The Spiritual Power Spreads Far and Wide", was inscribed by Wu Xiangda, the chief soldier of Jieshi, in 1901. In addition, there are dozens of plaques inscribed by Lin Zexu, such as "Shui De Ling Chang".

Duration: 00:18

Some of the plaques inscribed by celebrities at Yuanshan Temple
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The main deity worshipped at Yuanshan Temple is Zhenwu Da Di, also known as Xuantian God, who is one of the most famous Taoist deities in China.
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The four heavenly kings stand next to the God of True Martial Arts, and the dazzling gold lacquer gives a good idea of how prosperous a temple Yuanshan Temple was.
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A bronze sculpture of a fish leaping over a dragon gate, dating from the sixth year of the Ming Dynasty (1578) and restored in 1986, is embedded in the wall behind the temple, and now seems to be a place for wish-fulfilment, with the dragon head shining.
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Behind the wall is the Fuxing Pagoda, the highest point on Xuanwu Mountain. This small three-storey pagoda is called Sanyuan Palace on the ground floor, Wenchang Hall on the second and Kui Yuan on the third.
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In 1971, the old Fuxing Pagoda was blown up and the stones were used to build a seawall. Ten years later, in 1981, the pagoda, which had stood for hundreds of years, was rebuilt and is the Fuxing Pagoda we see today.
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After the liberation, the walls of Jieshi Wei Cheng were demolished in order to develop the transport industry. During the "Agricultural Learning" project, the boulder inscribed with "Jieshi" was blown up and the stones were transported to make fields around the sea, and in the subsequent development of the city, the few remaining monuments continued to be destroyed.
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So nowadays, the Jieshi Acropolis is nowhere to be found, and only the earthen walls that surrounded Jebei and Jieshi's residents are vaguely visible, while the only thing left to visit is the famous Chinese historical and cultural town of Jieshi is the Xuanwu Mountain.
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More than 600 years of history of Jieshi Wei, 900 years of history of the Yuanshan Temple, now the Wei City monuments are hard to find, only Yuanshan Temple after the disaster of the old look into a new face.
During the Ming and Qing dynasties, Jieshi was the gateway to the two counties of Huizhou and Chao and was the most glorious period in the history of Jieshi town. During the Ming Dynasty, the famous generals Yu Dayou and Hou Jigao once gathered men from all sides here to conquer Chaoshan and destroy the Japanese invaders, and carved "Ten Thousand Years of Peace" on the huge rock of the city wall; during the Daoguang period of the Qing Dynasty, Lin Zexu, the governor of Guangdong and Guangxi, paid close attention to the struggle against the British on the sea defence front in eastern Guangdong and visited Jieshi to inspect the defence and instruct the officers and soldiers... ...
The stars have moved on and time has changed, and nowadays Jieshi is still a prosperous town, but it is no longer comparable to Tianjin, which once had a comparable status, and its historical glory has long since dissipated, leaving only the name "Jieshi", which is loud but little known.

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