黄鹤楼 (huáng hè lóu)Yellow Crane Tower

Yellow Crane Tower(黄鹤楼)is a famous and historic tower, first built in 223 AD. The current structure, however, was rebuilt in 1981 at a one kilometre distance from the original site, and bears little resemblance to the historical Yellow Crane Tower. The tower stands on Sheshan (Snake Hill), at the bank of Yangtze River in Wuchang District, Wuhan,  in Hubei province of  central China.

There are at least two legends related to Yellow Crane Tower. In the first, an Immortal (仙人) name Wang Zi’an (王子安) rode off on a yellow crane from Snake Mountain. A tower was later built in commemoration. In the second, after becoming an Immortal, Fei Wenyi (费文祎) would ride a yellow crane and often stop on Snake Hill to take a rest.

The tower is also a sacred site of Taoism. Lv Dongbin is said to be ascend to the heaven from here.

There is a famous poem about it by Li Bai; one of which, written on the occasion of parting with his friend and poetic colleague Meng Haoran is called “Seeing off Meng Haoran for Guangling at Yellow Crane Tower” (黄鹤楼送孟浩然之广陵).

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(huáng hè lóu sòng mèng hào rán zhī guǎng líng)

Seeing off Meng Haoran for Guangling at Yellow Crane Tower

李白(lǐ bái )Li Bai

故人西辞黄鹤楼                 gù rén xī cí huáng hè lóu

Old friend west take leave yellow crane tower

烟花三月下扬州                 yān huā sān yuè xià yáng zhōu

Mist flowers three month down Yangzhou

孤帆远影碧空尽                 gū fān yuǎn yǐng bì kōng jìn

Lone sail far shadow blue empty to limit

唯见长江天际流                 wéi jiàn zhǎng jiāng tiān jì liú

Only see Yangtze River horizon flow


A modern English translation of the poem may follow as such:

My old friends said goodbye to the west, here at Yellow Crane Tower,

In the third month’s cloud of willow blossoms, he’s going down to Yangzhou.

The lonely sail is a distant shadow, on the edge of a blue emptiness,

All I see is the Yangtze River flow to the far horizon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                 (Editor:WANG YAN)