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Baidi City (White Emperor City)

There is a city lying in the Baidi Mountain, located on the northern bank of the Yangtze River. At the beginning of the Three Gorges, Baidi City has the best position to enjoy the sights of Kuimen, which is the image printed on the back of a tenner. Many famous poets in history, such as Li Bai, Du Fu, Bai Juyi, Su Shi, and more, had all visited Baidi city. They came here, toured the Kuimen, and left lots of poems. That is why Baidi City also has the reputation of Poetry City. Many poems describe this place and integrating magnificent nature here, therefore, attracting many calligraphers and artists here and left their artworks. 

Except for those beautiful poems, this place is also a strategic military in history. Baidi City was called Ziyang City at the beginning. It has an unusual geographic location, which makes it easy to defend but hard to attack. Gongsun Shu, one of the general of Wang Mang, visited here once and then established his city here to station troops. In 25 A.D., he changed the name of the city as Baidi City because he claimed himself as the White Emperor. Therefore, the city he lived in is called White Emperor City, which is Baidi City, and the mountain is White Emperor Mountain. After his death, Baidi City was destroyed by warfare. Gongsun Shu’s descendants established the Baidi Temple to sacrifice him.

Moreover, Baidi City is also the place where Liu Bei left his last words, therefore, building the Tuo Gu[1] Hall to keep the crucial history of Three Kingdoms.

This historical site was destroyed several times in the past. However, the magistrate of Fengjie County in 1871 (the Qing Dynasty) had rebuilt the temple. Nowadays, Baidi City had kept the style of the Qing Dynasty and was listed as one of world heritage sites in 2017.

At present, there are hundreds of unearthed cultural relics in the exhibition hall, from the Neolithic era to the Qing Dynasty. Meanwhile, there are many buildings from the Qing Dynasty, such as Wuhou Temple, Viewing Pavilion, and more.

[1] Tuo Gu: Tuo gu (the Chinese phrase) is a kind of way to make a will, but more formal and ceremonial. During the era of Three Kingdoms, Liu Bei crusaded against Wu state but failed, therefore, withdrawing in Baidi City. Before he died, he left Zhuge Liang in charge of state affairs with a famous sentence – if my kid (crown prince of Shu) is in a position to be the king, please assist him, but if not, replace him. After Liu Bei’s death, Zhuge Liang made his effort to keep Shu state for his whole life.

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