On the downstream journey
of the Yangtze, Shibaozhai represents
the first gem of Chinese architecture
to be encountered. A distance view of
a protruding 220-meter hill resembles
a jade seal.
On the south bank of the
Yangtze River, it was firstly built
in the Qing dynasty in 1650. As one
of the most spectacular sites along
the river, this 12-storied wooden
red pavilion with a height of 56 meters,
hugs a sheer rectangular cliff. It
consists of three parts: the entrance
gate, a nine-storied wooden pavilion
and a small temple at the top.
On its yellow glazed
entrance gate is an inscription inviting
the visitor to climb the ladder and
ascend into a 'Little Fairyland' (the
top temple). The top temple was built
during the reign of Emperor Qianlong.
Originally, the top temple is inaccessible
for its elevation and later an iron
access chain to it was attached to
the cliff. In 1819, the nine-storied
red wooden pavilion was add so that
monks and visitors to the temple would
not have to suffer the discomforts
of the chain ascent and designers
also build interior cockle stairs
to make the climbing more convenient.
Yangtze River Tour Sights