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WUHAN

The capital of Hubei province, Wuhan lies at the confluence of the Yangzi and Han Rivers, roughly midway between Beijing and Guangzhou. The city is comprised of three towns - Wuchang, Hankou and Hanyang - facing each other across the rivers and linked by several bridges. The area was first settled more than 3,000 years ago in the Han Dynasty, when Hanyang became a busy port. In the first and third centuries A.D., walls were built to protect Hanyang and Wuchang. About 300 years ago, Hankou became one of the country's top four trading towns.
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In the early 20th century, Wuhan became a hot spot of revolutionary activities. In 1911, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen led a revolution supported by workers that eventually overthrew the Qing Dynasty. There are many memorial structures devoted to the revolutionaries, such as the Red Building, which housed the National Revolutionary Army Government in the 1911 Movement, the Monument to the Martyrs of the February 7 Railway Workers' Strike and the Central Peasant Movement Institute. The city has long been an important industrial and commercial center in central China, which is also the halfway point in the Yangtze River's long stretch from Chongqing to Shanghai and the major port and transportation hub along the Yangtze River and Beijing-Guangzhou railway.

Yellow Crane Tower

Yellow Crane Tower, located on Snake Hill in Wuchang, is one of the "Three Famous Towers in south of Yangtze River. According to records, the tower was first built in 223 A.D during the Three Kingdoms period (220-280). After completion, the tower once served as a gathering place for celebrities and poets to make merry and compose poetry. It was estimated that up to the Tongzhi Reign of the Qing dynasty, as many as 300 poems on admiring the tower had been found in the historical literature, in which "Yellow Crane Tower" wrote by Cui Hao, a famous poet of Tang dynasty (618-907) made the tower well known throughout China. Destroyed many times in successive dynasties, the tower was rebuilt for the last time at the end of 19 century. The present tower is the result of four years of restoration beginning in 1981. The tower, 51.4 meters high, is five-storied with yellow tiles and red pillars, overlapping ridges and interlocking eaves, more magnificent than the old one. The ground floor of the new is 20 meters wide in each side and the old tower is only 15 meters wide. Therefore we can say that Yellow Crane Tower has been reconstructed instead of being renovated. Now, the tower has already been regarded as the symbol of Wuhan.

Hubei Provincial Museum


Established in 1953, Hubei Provincial Museum is one of the most important research and collection institution in the province. More than 140,000 collections, mainly from a big tomb excavated in 1978, are well preserved here, including 645 pieces of first class cultural relics and 16 pieces of national treasures. In the summer of 1978, Hubei provincial archaeologists working near Cheng Guan in Sui County excavated a huge tomb more than 2,400 years old. Dating back from around 433 BC, the tomb belongs to Marquis Yi of the state of Zeng, one of the hosts of lesser states during the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.). More than 15,000 relics were excavated from the tomb, including the bronze ritual vessels, coffins, musical instruments, gold and jade decorative items, lacquer wares, weapons and inscribed bamboo strips. There are 8 kinds and 125 pieces of musical instruments excavated from the tomb, including bells, stone chimes and drums, among which chime bell is most famous.

Musical Instruments - Jade Chime Bell - As the heaviest musical instrument in the world, this set of chime bell, with a total weight of 2,500 kilogram, consists of 65 pieces - the biggest bell is 152.3cm high and 203.6kg in weight and the smallest 20.4cm long and 2.4kg in weight. They were suspended on 3 ordered frames and divided into 8 groups. The Niu Bell on the upper layer, 19 pieces, were used for producing clear tones, thirty-three pieces of Yong Bell on the middle layer for playing melody and twelve pieces of Yong Bell on the lower layer for accompanying. Each bell can produce two different tones when struck. The chime bell was covered roughly five and half octaves and entire 12 semitones, which were most like current C major. Gold inscriptions of 3,755 words were carved on the body, the frame and hung hooks recording the order of bells, events, notes and records of note names, scale names, octaves and musical pitch connection between other states. The unearthed play implements are six pieces of T-shaped color-painted wooden poles and two pieces of colorful wooden sticks. It is one of the major archaeological discoveries in the 20th century. Wuhan Historical Museum is now the major tourist program while visitors may enjoy the magic ancient music played by the Jade Chimes in the morning or afternoon.


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