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The History of Shibaozhai

Shibaozhai (Stone Treasure Fortress) was located in Zhongxian County which is on the north bank of Yangtze River. There are 40 kilometers to the county town in west side and 52 kilometers to Wanxian County in east side. There is a huge rock on the river bank. It is said the rock was left when the goddess Nu Wa melted down rocks to repair the sky. So it was named Shibao (precious rock). As the rock looks like a jade seal, so it also named Jade Seal Mountain. In the late Ming Dynasty, Tan Hong revolted and regard there as his fortress. The name of Shibaozhai was reformed.

Scenic Spots of Shibaozhai

Shibaozhai tower was built upon Jade Seal Mountain. The shape of Shibaozhai is very strange for it was built upon the mountain. The whole building was consisted with the gate of fortress, the main body part and attic. There are 12 floors and 56 meters high. The whole building was made up of wood. It was first built in Ming dynasty and complete in Kangxu and chiarnlurng period. When it was first built, there were only 9 floors which mean "Cloud Nine". The 3 floors on the top were built in 1956 when it was repaired. Shibaozhai is one of the remained buildings which were built by wood. So it is named" one of the eight architectural miracles in the world".

The gate of fortress was built by stone. It is 6 meters high. The three words – Small Penglai are caved on the gate. On the front and back sides of the gate, there are "five dragons around the emperor", "Nezha conquers the dragon king" and some other relief sculpture which are elaborate and vivid.

If you want to reach the top of fortress from the gate, you must pass through the pavilion which was built upon the mountain. The pavilion was built in Jiaqing period of Qing Dynasty. It is 50 meters high and was joined by a spiral staircase. On the wall of each floor, there are some stone inscriptions, portraits and poems and you can enjoy the Yangtze River scenery from the window of each floor.

The top of the fortress is a 1200 square meters stone dam, with 230 meters altitude. When you stand on the top, and look around, you can see the water around you and feel very relax. In the main hall of the ancient monastery which was built in Qing Dynasty, there is a huge fresco which describes the story of Nu Wa repair the sky. There is a stone looks like Shibaozhai under the fresco. In the opisthodomos, there is a stone hole. People named the hole as "Flow Rice Hole"

There are three suits sculptures in the fortress. One is the story of Ba manzi suicide himself to protect the city. The second one is the story of Zhang Fei in Three Kingdom period. The third one is the story of heroic Qin Liangyu. There is an ancient monastery on the top of the fortress and an elegant Shibao Street under the fortress.

Current Situation of Shibaozhai

Shibaozhai is the biggest, with most floors wood construction building in China. After the water storage in Three Gorges Dam, Shibaozhai would be submerged. In order to protect this valuable cultural relic, experts put forward a plan. Without removing the fortress, build revetment around the Jade Seal Mountain. Now, Shibaozhai just like a giant bonsai which is surrounded by water.

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