We arrive by plane from Shanghai and want to check-in in Wuhan for a Yangtze River cruise. However, this is only possible in the early evening. Therefore we use the time to visit some highlights of Wuhan.
The name Wuhan means ‘sweating city, because of the humid subtropical climate. In summer, it is one of the hottest cities in China. The city has three sections, the old town, the center for economic development with a Citroen factory for taxis, and the section for recreation with the East Lake. Our first stop is the East Lake.
On the shores of East Lake, you can visit the former summer residence of Mao Tse-tung, see separate article. Once, East Lake was covered with lotus flowers. After an attempted assassination by two national Chinese divers, Mao ordered to remove the lotus plants. Today, one cultivates river pearls in the lake.
Yellow Crane Temple
Afterward, we visit the Yellow Crane Temple, visible from afar on the right bank of the Yangtze River. It stands on top of the Yellow Crane Rock, hence its name.
We are in the Wuchang district, the historically most significant part of Wuhan. In the 3rd century, this was the capital of the Wu Kingdom.
The Yellow Crane Temple, which today serves as a tea house, also dates from this time. Right next to it is the important railway connection, which was the first to cross the Yangtze in 1957.
The Red House
About 200 m further on is the Red House, where Dr. Sun Yatsen proclaimed the Republic during the revolution of 1911 and overthrew the Qing Dynasty.
Initially, the building housed the government before it moved to Nanjing, in 1912. Today it serves as the Museum of Revolution.
The Yangtze River
On the other side of the river, we visit the Chinese Rare Stone Museum. We cross the river near the place where Mao swam through the river, in 1966.
The modern backdrop of the metropolis, which at that time had 7 million, now 8 million inhabitants, and the huge landing stages for the cruise ships make the memory of days long gone fade. Once the colonial powers founded their first trading posts here on the middle reaches of the Yangtze and gunboats anchored on the banks. It was no coincidence that it was here that the revolution began.
Looking at the high embankment, it is hard to believe that Wuhan was often threatened by the floods of the Yangtze. To some extent, one could only prevent the devastation of the city by blasting dams in the upper reaches.
Chinese Rare Stones Museum
The third-largest quartz crystal in China with a weight of 1.6 tons awaits us in the entrance area of the museum, as well as a rare boulder in the format of a medium-sized car. At the end of the hall is a three-meter-long and 11.32-tons rose quartz.
The Botanical Garden, which is part of the museum, is decorated with several rare penzais up to 300 years old. Penzai, or Penjing, is the Chinese term that means ‘pot landscape. It is the art of growing trees and plants in pots, and at the same time, forming a landscape by adding stones and other materials. Penzai is more than 1300 years old in China. The term bonsai is younger and comes from Japan, where one developed the art further.
Another part of the museum is the Cultural Stone Museum, with over 500 rare stones. Worth highlighting is a large number of chrysanthemum stones. A chrysanthemum stone consists of dolomite, gypsum clay, limestone or porphyrite with shell-like coatings of andalusite and calcite, which are reminiscent of chrysanthemum flowers.
The highlight in this museum is the skeleton of a platybelodon, a so-called shovel elephant. It is an ancestor of the elephant which lived approximately 12 million years ago. The skeleton was assembled from 6 different fossils. The platybelodon probably lived in swamps and used the shovel tuskers to filter plants from the water.
One needed 3 years to cut the stone in shape for the exhibited stone lions.
The end of our visit is a miniature replica of the landscape of the Li River, of course, with the 4 elements that belong to a Chinese garden: water, stones, plants, and pagodas.
But then it is time to board our ship for the Yangtze cruise.
Pin it for later
Text, photos and video: Copyright © myVideoMedia
Dieser Beitrag in: Deutsch