Baidi City

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As the starting point of the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River, the Baidi is surrounded by water on three sides and backed by a mountain on the fourth. It is located on Baidi Mountain on the northern banks of the Yangtze River, eight kilometers east of Fengjie County.

In the late Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 25), Gongsun Shu, chief of Shu Prefecture, rose in revolt and seized hold of Chengdu. He had a city called Ziyang built on a mountain close to Kuimen on the Yangtze. Legend has it that, while galloping on his horse there, Gongsun Shu saw white mist rising up in the shape of a white dragon from a well, and considered it an auspicious omen. So he styled himself "Baidizi" (Son of the White Emperor), and Ziyang was then renamed Baidi (White Emperor) City.

In the 11th year (1532) of Emperor Jiajing's reign period (1522-1566) in the Ming Dynasty, the statues of Liu Bei, king of the State of Shu (221-263) in the Three Kingdoms period, and his prime minister Zhuge Liang, were enshrined in a temple in the city, which was renamed Yizheng (Righteousness and Justice) Ancestral Temple. When the statues of Guan Yu, Zhang Fei and Zhuge Liang's son and grandson were added in 1557, the name of the temple was again changed to "Mingliang Hall," inferring that a wise emperor, assisted by able and virtuous ministers.

Today's Baidi City covers a total area of 50,000 sq. m. Remnants of the ancient city wall, 5,069 meters long, remain. On the city gate are the three characters for "Baidi City" inscribed by Guo Moruo, the famous Chinese writer, poet, historian and archeologist. The city now includes the Mingliang Hall, Wuhou Temple, Tuogu Hall, Huaigu Hall, and Guanxing Pavilion, all in simple yet elegant architecture of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.

Baidi City, Chongqing