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Fengjie

Fengjie is the first city at the western end of the Yangtze Three Gorges and situated at the entrance of Qutang Gorge. It is a famous ancient town with a history of more than 2,000 years.

During the spring and Autumn and Warring States period (770-221 B. C.), Fengjie was successively under the jurisdiction of several small states, including the states of Yong, Kui and Ba, which were later unified under the state of Chu. From the Qin (221-207 B. C.) and Han (206 B. C. - A. D. 220) down to the Sui Dynasty (A.D.581-618), it was administered as a county or prefecture under the names of Yufu, Yongan, Renfu, Xinzhou and Yankou. It was renamed Fengjie in the early Tang Dynasty (618-907). It has long been famous as a poets' city where many of China's greatest poets commemorated their visits here with verses. A thatched cottage temple in the city was built to commemorate the Tang-Dynasty poet Du Fu (712-770. A. D.) .

Fengjie is an attractive town, with part of its city wall of the Ming Dynasty intact. The city wall was built more than 500 years ago in the Ming Dynasty (1474). It has a circumference of 3 kilometers with five city gates, each with an inscription on it. All these inscriptions are related to the surrounding scenes. The great south gate is the main thoroughfare into the city. It is also known as "Dipper Leaning Gate" from two lines of a poem by Du Fu. Several hundred stone steps lead from the river to the Dipper Leaning Gate.

White Emperor City (Baidi City), located at the entrance of the Qutang Gorge on the north bank of the river, 8 kilometers (5 miles) from Fengjie county. It is not a real city, but a mini city with some temples and gates on top of Baidi Hill. White Emperor City was said to be built by Gongsun Shu, an official turned soldier, as the site of his headquarters during the end of the Western Han Dynasty. Gong Sunshu saw white vapor in the shape of a dragon rising from a nearby well, and taking this as an auspicious omen, he declared himself the 'White Emperor' and renamed the town 'White Emperor City' and the hill Baidi Hill.

Another story of the city is about the Three Kingdoms. Liu Bei, emperor of the state of Shu in the Three Kingdoms period, retreated from a disastrous war against general Lu Xun of Wu Kingdom, and died here in distress. He entrusted his only son to his prime minister Zhuge Liang who was a legendary wise man. It was here that Zhuge Liang trained the troops of Shu in military strategy. He constructed the Eight Element Battle Formation. The site has 64 piles of stones 1.5 meter (5 feet) high erected in a grid pattern, 24 of which represented the surrounding troops. The principles of his manoeuvres have long been studied by China's military strategists and continue to be relevant to present-day concepts of Chinese warfare.

Baidi city is also known as City of Poems. In ancient times, many scholars and poets visited here and left numerous literary relics. In the city, there are over 70 poems, carvings, and cultural relics of the Sui, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties.





 
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