Solitary Beauty Peak
- Solitary Beauty Peak is a famous scenic spot located in the Ming Prince Mansion, Guilin city.
- It is known as the great southern pillar as well as the No.1 peak in Guilin city.
Solitary Beauty Peak is created by Mother Nature. It is famous for its sharp precipice. It stands solitarily, interlaced with some other mountains around it. The top of the peak is an ideal place to take a whole view of Guilin city. There are numerous cliff-side and stone inscriptions carved on Solitary Beauty Peak. Among those tablets and inscriptions on the peak, the inscription that declares the rivers and mountains of Guilin as the best under heaven (桂林山水甲天下) is particularly renowned. Another world culture wonder "Taisui" stone inscription is located at the Taiping Cave at the foot of the Peak.
In addition, there are some famous scenic spots like the Xuanwu Pavilion(玄武阁), Guanyin Hall, Three Guests Temple(三客庙), and Three Gods Memorial Hall(三仙祠) on the top of the peak and the Yueya(literal meaning is crescent in English) pond(月牙泉) at the foot of the peak. On the east side of the peak is carved with a Stone Inscription by the poet Yan Yanyuan, who lived in the Song Dynasty （420-479）, one of the Southern Dynasties(420–589) in China. It is the most ancient stone inscription among those carved in the peak. Poet Yan Yanyuan once wrote the following poem: "The beauty of the peak is so unique that other nearby mountains is not on the par with it (未若独秀者，峨峨郛吧间)", hence its name "Solitary Beauty Peak"(独秀峰, dú xiù fēng).
Jingjiang Prince Mansion
- Jingjiang Prince Mansion is located at the center of Guilin city.
- It was built in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) when the grandnephew of the Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, Zhu Shouqian was announced the Prince of Jingjiang. Jingjiang Prince Mansion is the best preserved Princes' City of Ming Dynasty in China.
- Now it is one of the state-level major cultural relic preservation sites.
After Zhu Shouqian was announced the Prince of Jingjiang by Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, this place was set as the mansion of the Jingjiang Prince. It had taken more than 20 years to build the capital. Now it has a history of over 630 years, which is older than the Forbidden City in Beijing. There are 4 halls, 4 pavilions and 40 other buildings surrounding the main buildings. It occupies a total area of 19.78 hectares (0.08 square miles). The layout of the mansion is, from the south to the north, Imperial Burial Place, Chengyun Palace and Chengyun Gate; from east to west, Imperial Divine Temple and Ancestral Temple. Other buildings are built around the main buildings. All the buildings in Jingjiang Prince Mansion are decorated with red walls and yellow tiles, which a typical imperial building in China.
There is a 1500-meter long city wall which is built with square bluestones. It is 557.5 meters long from south to north and 336 meters long from east to west. The city wall is 7.92 meters high and has a thickness of 5.5 meters. There are four gates in four directions, which are called "Tiren" (Donghua Gate), "Duanli" (Zhengyang Gate), "Zunyi" (Xihua Gate) and "Guangzhi" (Hougong Gate).
"Zhuangyuan Jidi" Arch (Zhuangyuan means title conferred on the one who came first in the highest imperial examination) is located on the Donghua Gate. The arch was built during the reign of Dao Guang in Qing Dynasty (1636–1911) and ruined during the reign of Guangxu in Qing Dynasty. It was built for the Long Qirui (龙启瑞). Before Long Qirui was entitled the Zhuangyuan, there was someone who also enjoyed the title. In the next four years, there were two Zhuangyuans came from Guilin which shocked everyone in China. Since then, there was a popular saying that "eight Jinshi (An advanced scholar) from one county and two Zhuangyuan from one city". In order to memorize this legend, local authorities rebuilt the "Zhuangyuan Jidi" Arch and carved all the four peoples' names on the arch. The "Bangyan Jidi" Arch (Bangyan means the second place at palace examinations) is on the Xihua Gate. It was built for memorize Yu Jianzhang(于建章) in the fourth year of the Region of Tongzhi in Qing Dynasty.
There had been 14 Jingjiang Princes of 12 generations who had lived in the city during the 257 years before it was ruined in Qing Dynasty (1636–1911). The last owner Li Youde buried himself to death in the Qing Dynasty. At present, the main buildings of the city are well preserved. The left Chengyun Gate, the platform of Chengyun Palace and other buildings are open for visitors. Today the site is occupied by Guangxi Normal University. The local government has done a great job to combine aspects of Guilin's natural beauty, history, traditional architecture and local culture. Now it is a popular tourist destination.
- Ticket: 50 yuan; 25 yuan for children (Visitors can visit the capital of Jingjiang Kingdom, Palace of Jingjiang Kingdom and Solitary Beauty Peak.
- Opening time: 7:30 — 18:30 every day.
- How to Get There: Visitors can take city bus line 1, 22, 30, 99 and 100 and get off at the Station of Lequn Crossing (乐群路口), then walk 50 meters eastward.
- Visitors can also take city bus line 10, 11, 14, 18 and 98 and get off at the Liberation Bridge station (解放桥站), then walk 100 meters northward.
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I updated this article on February 13, 2014
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