Ancient City Quanzhou
Quanzhou was founded in 718, the sixth year of Kaiyuan in the Tang Dynasty, with other names "Coraltree City", "Carp City" and Wenling. Located on the lower reaches of the Jin River in the southeast of Fujian by the sea, it is a time- honoured city of civilization and a famous hometown for numerous overseas Chinese and Taiwan compatriots.
From old Quanzhou Frefecture to today's Quanzhou City, it has always been a political , economic and cultural centre of the Jin River basin. The present city administrates Jinjiang, Nanan, Huian, Anxi, Yongchun and Dehua, covering an area of 10,865 km2,with 5,200,000 population.
Quanzhou was a busy city for ocean transportation and foreign trades in anicent times. As early as the Neolithic Age, man began to settle here, and later developments enabled it to become a prosperous open port city in the Tang and five Dynasties.
The Song and Yuan dynasties saw the old "Coraltree Port" become one of the World's major port and the starting point of the "Silk Road on the Sea", marking the golden age of ocean transportation and foreign trades, tieh its dealing with about a huandred nations.
Quanzhou is well endowed with beautiful scenery and natural resources, and is distinctive for its ancient and unsophisticatted custom. The historic sites enjoying a long history of reputation include the East and Weat Pagodas at the Kaiyuan Temple, the He Zuo's Tomb at the Qingjing Mosque, Stone Old Saint, ruins of Manichaean church, Luoyang Bridge and Five-Mile Bridge, among the two huandred attracttions. The native products such as Tieguanyin Tea, Dehua porcelain and Huian stonecarving have long been sought after for their high quality and fame. The ancient Southern Music, Gaojia Opera and Liyuan Opera, like the melodious local dialect flavour of Jin and Tang Dynasties.
East and West Pagodas
The majestic East and West Pagodas stand as a symbol and the pride of ancient Quanzhou City. Rising up before the Ziyun Hall in the Kaiyuan Temple, they remain intact after dozens of severe earthquakes in the course of the thousands of years, and deserv the title of the pearl of architecture in China.
The East Pagode is named Zhengguo, and the West Renshou, meaning "nation-protecting"and "merits and longvity" respectively. The riginal pagodas were built of wood and later changed into brick, and then in the Southern Song Dynasty changed again into stone ones, what are seen today. From the base to the top, the whole pagodas are covered with exquisitely carved, vivid relief sculptures. Each of the octagonal pagodas has five storeys and upturned eaves. On each storey, there are warriors standing on both sides of the niches. Following the steps inside the pagodas, one can climb up t each storey and enjoy a delightful bird's-eye-view of whole Quanzhou City.
The Kaiyuan Temple In Quanzhou
The Kaiyuan Temple in the West Street of Quanzhou is a thousand-year-old temple renowned at home as well as abroad. It was built in 686, the second year of Chuigong in the Tang Dynasty. It was originally named "Lotus Temple" and changed to present name in 783, the twenty-sixth year of Kaiyuan in the Tang Dynasty, when Emperor Xuanzong edited that every frefecture build a temple in his honour.
The Kaiyuan Temple shares the same reputation with the Guangji Temple in Beijing and Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou, being a rare one in China and the largest existing in South Fujian. On an area of 70,000 m2, the temple is laid out with the gate and the Daxiong Hall in its axis, and the outside screen wall "Purple Cloud", Heavenly King Hall, Worshiping Pavilion, East and West Corridors, Daxiong Hall, Ganlu Buddhist Vowing Hall, Scripture Hall arranged in aline, forming a neat and symmetrical pattern, grandiose as it is.
Qinyuan Mountain is a major mountain in the range north of Quanzhou. Since it has 36 beautiful caves, it has enjoyed a eulogistic title "The Supreme Mountain Fairyland by the Fujian sea" since ancient times. Qingyuan Mountain is also distinguished by its springs and rocks. South of the Stone Old Saint rises Thousandhand Rocks, where there is a sitting stone figure of Avalokitesvara, and by it the tomb of renowned monk Hong Yi of modern times. In the left peak, a stone figure of Sakyamuni nestles inside the Nich Cavern, from where one can have a panorama of the city. An ancient stone path in the central peak leads to the Qingyuan Cave at the top, where clear water lows out all the year round. It is from the clear water that the mountain derived its name Qingyuan, meaning "Clear Water" in Chinese. The right peak offers sights such as the Waterfall in the Cave, the Moon in the Wind over the Sea and the stone figure of Amitabha. Further up to the South Platform Rock is the Pavilion in the mid-air, where clouds envelopes the soaring cliffs, presenting a view of fairyland.
Stone Old Saint
The 5.5-m-high-and-7.3-m-wide figure of old Taoist saint carved in the Song Dynasty sits at the foot of Qingyuan Mountain. His left hand rests on the lap and right hand on a small table, his ears reach his shoulder, his white beard is floating in the air and his face is beaming with happiness and kindness. The figure has become a symbol of health and longevity, as the saying goes in Quanzhou, "Touch the nose of the Stone Old Saint and you will live up to 120 years old," which challenges many tourists to have a try.
Ancient Ferry of Han River
The ancient ferry by the Han River in Jingjiang cuntry , Quanzhou, was the entrance to the old Coral Tree Port. Its orginal name was Daiyu. In the Tang Dyansty, the ferry was open to the outside world. What people see today is the ruin of the old ferry built by a navigator Lin Luan in the tang Dynasty. In the Northern Song Dynasty, to faclitate vessles at home and abroad to enter the Han River and the Coral Tree Port, a navigation mark Liusheng Tower was built on nearby Jinchai Muntain in the Shihu. Thus,the ferry become the only place to use stone tower as the navigation mark in the histry of navigation. In the early years of The Qing Dynasty, the contact between Taiwan and the mainland became closer and the ferry became a major harbor between the two. The ancient ferry and the stone ferry inscriptin people see today are the evidence of the communication among the Han River, Lugang,Jinjiang and Taibei.
The Luoyang Bridge
The Luoyang Bridge, the first stone beam bridge at sea port ever built in china, is a monumental work in the history of Chinese bridge construction. The bridge,1200m long and 7m wide, has been lying astride the Luoyang River ever since 1053,the fifth year of Huangyou in the Northern Song Dynasty. As it is located at Wanan Du, it is also called Wanan Birdge. There is a legend about the birdge. When the construction of the birdge commenced, the powerful tidewater frustrated ten attempts to lay the foundation.
The magistrate of the prefecture Cai Xiang then sent an officer to present his letter to Sea God, asking for his advice, and received a one-word reply "Venigar". After a hard contemplation, Cai Xiang worked out the hidden meaning in the chinese word "Venigar" and realized that Sea God suggested the work date on the 21st that month. Then, on that very day, stone was thrown into the river and foundation was laid successfully. Hence, there have been the sayings "The Luoyang Bridge is a work of wonder,unique in the world" and "you may not believe a gentleman but you may well have belief in the Venigar ". After the founding of the People's Republic of china, the Luoyang Bridge has been preserved as a historic relic while a new birdge was built northwest to it. With two birdges lying parallel like two rainbows, the view is even more splendid.
The Five-Mile Bridge had the name for its five-mile length. Its location at the ancient Anping Township of Jinjiang gave it another name "Anping Bridge". Built in the Shaoxing period in the southern Song Dynasty, the long bridge came out the best stone sea port bridge in ancient China and the longest beam bridge in the world in the Middle Ages. Thus it had the honour of being "the longest bridge in the world". In recent years, the local government allocated funds several times for the restoration of the bridge so as to retrieve its past grandeur.
Nine Immortals Mountain In Dehua
The lofty Nine Immortals Mountain is towering among the mountain in the Daiyun Range. Its name came form the legend that it was a meeting place for Zhang Gulao and other eight immortals. There are ninety-nine caves,twelve sites and more than forty inscription and historic sites with many attached myths. The sites in the mountain are varied and change their appearances with weather; in fine weather there is a dazzling display of colours and when it rains,the whole mountain will whistle in the wind.
The beautiful Qingshui Rock stands in Penglai in Anxi Country. Since ancient times,it has been attracting tourists at home and aboad ith its 42 natural wonders. There are many stories and myths concerning the stone scenes and towering old trees. An old camphor tree called "Facing North" is so big that it takes six to seven persons to hold its trunk. It is said that when the old tree heard that the patriotic general Yue fei was killed by the treacherous official Qin Hui, it held out all its branches to the north to pay its homage to Yue.
Jiuri Mountain in Nanan
Jiuri Mountain in Nanan is praised to "charm the visitor as the fairyland would". It is said that from the Jin to Song Dynasties the noble families who moved to the south used to climb this mountain on the nineth of lunar September and the mountain had the name meaning "nineth". The three peaks form an enclosure, embracing 36 scenic attractions with a colourful display of pavilions and halls. Besides, "there is not a single place that does not offer an inscription"; the inscriptions by celebrities in the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties alone amount up to more than 70. The Yanfu Temple, built in 288, the nineth year of Taikang in the Jin Dynasty, is the oldest Temple in Fujian Province.
Anhai Manichaean Temple
The Temple nestles in Huabiao Mountain of Anhai, Jinjiang Country, where rocks are ragged and valleys are deep. It is a quiet place "like heaven." According to records, Manichaeism as intorduced to China in the later seventh century. In 1313, the second year of Huangqing of the Yuan Dynasty, when it reached its height in Quanzhou, believers began to carve stone statues in Huabiao Mountain, which "has two peaks like decorated columns". In 1339, the fifth year of Zhiyuan of the Yuan Dynasty, they built the Manichaean Temple so as to spreead the doctrine of Manichaeism. The statue of Mani is carved on the rocky wall, his hair spread over his shoulder, quite different from other statues. It's a rare historic site in Fujian and the only relic of Manichaeism in Fujian, so it's highly valued.