This place is known like 'The First Scenery under Heaven'; The Yellow Crane Tower is one of the most famous towers to the south of the Rio Yangtze. It is situated on Snake Hill in Wuhan in the province of Hubei.
The tower is based on an original design realized during the Qing Dynasty. The tower is of 51.4 meters of high and has five levels or floors. The appearance of the tower is the same does not matter of that direction or side is viewed.
The roof is covered by 100,000 yellow glazed tiles. With yellow upturned eaves, each floor seems to have been designed to resemble a yellow crane spreading its wings to fly.
On each floor has a theme, for example, the theme of the first floor is about legend. On the wall, there is a nine meter long and six-meter wide painted porcelain picture which depicts clouds, rivers and cranes to represent a romantic mood in the heaven.
The midmost Zaojing stands over 10 meters high. On the front wall is a huge ceramic mural painting of "White Cloud and Yellow Crane". The tower is filled with gorgeous murals with many poems, beautiful furniture pieces and smaller scale models of the tower complex and other famous sights in China like the Forbidden City.
At the two side of it are two mural paintings. One is "Sun Quan Built Town". It describes the history of the successive birth of the Yellow Crane Tower and Wuchang Town vividly. The other is "Zhou Yu Made a Feast". It reflects the activity that the famous persons of the Three Kingdoms come to the Yellow Crane Tower.
On top of the tower, tourists can obtain a fabulous panoramic view of the Yangtze River its bridge and the surrounding buildings in Wuhan City. Outside the tower, there are bronze yellow cranes, memorial gateways and pavilions. At night, the tower is intensely illuminated which gives to the tower an extraordinary appearance that fascinates the tourists.
Around the main tower, there are many others buildings, such as, the White Cloud Tower, the Shengxiang Pagoda, the Stele Gallery, the Temple Gate, etc. The White Cloud Tower of 29.7 meters high stands behind the Yellow Crane Tower. Together, the two towers form the nickname of Wuhan.
The statues of two cranes are standing above a Snake and a Turtle. There is a legend about the two Cranes having descended from heaven and uniting the Snake and the Turtle which then helped to control the floods along the Yangtze River which had killed so many people.
Snake Hill and Turtle hill are the two hills which the structures of the Tower and the Bell of one thousand years good luck are built on. The tourists buy small replies of bronze of these statues for the good luck.
According to a legend, it is said that in Wuchang, there was a shop of wine attended by a young called Xin. One day, a Taoist priest, in gratitude for free wine, drew a magic crane on the wall of the shop and instructed it to dance whenever it heard clapping.
Thousands of people came to see the spectacle and the wine shop was always full of guests. After 10 years, the Taoist priest revisited the wine shop. He was playing his flute and then rode on the crane and was flying away towards the sky. In memory of the priest, Xin built a tower and named it Yellow Crane Tower.
The Yellow Crane Tower had a very long and complicated history of over 1,700 years.
It was first built in 223, during the Three Kingdoms Period (220 - 280). Due to the ideal location, it was built by Sun Quan (182 - 252, King of Wu) as a watchtower for his army.
After hundreds of years, its military function was gradually forgotten and the tower was enjoyed mainly as a picturesque location.
During the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907), many popular poems were written in praise of the Yellow Crane Tower. It was these poems that made the Tower so renowned and induced for people to visit. During the following centuries, it was destroyed and rebuilt several times.
During the Ming (1368 - 1644) and Qing (1644 - 1911) Dynasties alone the tower was destroyed and rebuilt seven times. In 1884, it was completely destroyed in a fire and was not rebuilt until 1981. The tower had different architectural features in different dynasties.
The new Yellow Crane Tower is regarded as the symbol of Wuhan city. It is considered one of the Four Great Towers of China. In its modern version it has the appearance of an ancient tower but is built of modern materials and includes an elevator.
The Yellow Crane Tower has an architectural style between the classic and the modern stile; it does that is an excellent example of poetry and beauty.