Golden Summit Scenic Area
( chinadaily.com.cn )
|Taihe Palace (Photo by Yang Guangzhi)|
The Golden Summit Scenic Spot includes Golden Hall, Scripture Hall, Purple Gold City, Pilgrimage Palace, the Yuan Dynasty Bronze Hall and many other ancient buildings on the sacred road to Taihe Palace. Other historic sights are the Central Taoist Temple, the Yellow Dragon Cavity and the First, Second and Third Celestial Gates.
These buildings house many historical relics and treasures such as Taoist joss, altars, sacrificial vessels and musical instruments.
|The Golden Hall (Photo by Zhang Xing)|
The Golden Hall in Wudang Mountain is at the top of Tianzhu Peak, which is 1,612 meters above sea level. The construction of the palace was started in 1416 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and it features the largest extant brass cast building in China. The Golden Hall is 5.54 meters high, 4.40 meters wide and 3.15 meters deep. It is cast in brass and decorated with gold with a double-eaves roof. The ridge of the hall is decorated with vividly shaped gods, men, birds and animals. The hall has twelve stone lotus-based columns with elegantly structured brims and rafters. The crossbeams and the ceiling are carved with cloud patterns and spirals. The base of the hall is a stone platform made of granite rock and circled with engraved stone railings. All the josses, altars and sacrificial vessels are brass. In the center is enshrined the God Zhenwu, the Taoist god of Wudang Mountain. He is strong and tall with disheveled hair. He wears a gown and a suit of armor. Beside him stand the statues of a lovely boy and a pretty girl. On the two sides stand the statues of two brave generals named Water and Fire, which show the artistic essence of all the brass statues on Wudang Mountain.
The construction elements were produced in Beijing and then transported via China’s Grand Canal to Wudang Mountain and then installed. The Golden Hall was first cast in parts, which were then precisely riveted and welded together. Despite more than 500 years of natural erosion and occasional extreme weather, the palace is still in splendid condition. It is considered a pearl in the history of ancient architecture and casting technology in China.
In front of the Golden Palace, there are two bronze bell and chime pavilions built during the Jiajing reign (1521-1566) of the Ming Dynasty. They are still intact. On both sides of the palace, there are rooms for drawing lots and for deity seals. At the back of the palace is the Parents' Palace housing statues of Emperor Zhenwu's parents.