Of General Yue Fei
Mausoleum of General Yuefei is situated
at the southern foot of Qixia Hill and the northwest
bank of West Lake.
Yuefei, born in 1103, is a great national
hero of the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279)
who distinguished himself in battles against northern
invaders. During the 12th century, when china
was attacked by Jurchen invaders from the north,
General Yuefei was commander of the Song armies.
His attempt to push north and recover all the
lost Chinese territory was opposed, however, by
a peace party within the capital headed by the
minister Qinhui, who believed that further prosecution
of the war would be too costly. Qinhui's faction
proved more influential, and in 1141 Yuefei was
recalled to the Song court and imprisoned, later
executed after being framed by Qinhui.
In 1163, Song Emperor Gaozong exonerated
Yuefei and had his corpse reburied at the present
site. In 1221, a memorial temple of Yuefei was
built here with statue of Yuefei enshrined inside.
The memorial temple have been destroyed
and rebuilt for several times. The present structure
was the product of the restoration in 1923. It
contains a 4.54-meter-high statue of Yuefei, which
was well armed with a sword in the left hand,
seeming to prepare for fighting at all time. A
calligraphy work of Yuefei reading "return
the mountains and rivers to us" is hung on
the wall, being a reference to his patriotism
and resistance to the Jurchen. In the two side
halls of the temple are 120 tablets; the tablets
are engraved with Yuefei's poems as well as eulogies
to him by noted figures.
To the right of memorial temple is
the mausoleum of Yuefei. Four iron statues: Qinhui
and his wife, Zhangjun and Mo Qixie are kneeling
in front of the tomb, all cursed and spat by visitors
for their guilt. On both side of the tomb are
six stone figures, two horses, two tiger and two
goats, symbolizing the guards of Yuefei.
Each year, moved by Yuefei's deeds
and encouraged by his spirit, countless people
come here to memorialize this patriotic general.