Shibaozhai - A Pearl on Yangtze River
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Shibaozhai - Name Origin

Shibaozhai (Stone Treasure Stockade) is a state AAAA-class scenic spot and also a national protection unit of cultural relic. It is located on the north bank of Yangtze River (between Zhongxian County and Wanzhou County). It stands alone highly with steep cliffs. It is said that it is the colored stone left by Nuwa while she smelting the stones to patch the sky hole. So it was named "Shibao" (in Chinese means Stone Treasure). Tan Hong - the leader of the peasants uprising in late Ming Dynasty took here as his base, hence this place was named Shibaozhai. It was built in Wanli Period of Ming Dynasty, and has a history of more than 400 years. The hillside constructions of the stockade with upturned eaves looked very magnificent. The 12-storey tower is 56 meters high. The towering pagoda is really a tremendous spectacle. There is the ancient temple - Emperor's Hall at the top of the pagoda. There is also a store-house, Duck's Cave and Liumi Hole.

Shibaozhai – Peculiar Constructions

Shibaozhai was famous for its peculiar constructions and interesting legends. It is one of the eight construction wonders in the world. It annually received about 0.22 million visitors since it was opened to the public in 1979. It was praised as "Pearl on Yangtze River" by Chinese and foreign visitors.

The peculiar tower of Shibaozhai with upturned eaves was built against the Yuyin (Jade Seal) Mountain. The wooden-structured 12-storey tower is 56 meters high and  formed the stockade gate, stockade body and stockade pagoda. It was built in Wanli Period of Ming Dynasty and was repaired and renovated in Emperor Kangxi Period and Emperor Qianlong Period of Qing Dynasty. Shibaozhai is also one of the few existing wooden-structured constructions built without nail in China.

The gate of the stockade was masonry-structured. It is about 6 meters high and with 3 Chinese characters: Xiao-Peng-Lai (in Chinese means little paradise) carved on the gate. There are sophisticated and lively relieves such as Five Dragons Supporting the Emperor and Nezha Stirs Up the Sea on the two sides of the gate.

Shibaozhai - Interesting Legend

Climbe  from the stockade gate up to the top of the stockade, you would get through the hillside building and tower. The tower was built in Emperor Jiajing Period (1796-1820) of Qing Dynasty. A roundabout stair stretches from the bottom to the top of the tower. There are carvings, portraits and poems on the stone wall of each floor. You could have an overlook of the ever-changing Yangtze River on each floor.

It is said that there was only a temple in the stockade. There was only a path and a chain top to the temple. The worshipers had to climb to the temple with a faithful heart, and they also had to take the risk of falling down the steep cliffs. Later, there was a skilled workman touched by an eagle circling over the Yuyin Mountain. He was inspired by the eagle and started to build constructions against the mountain. He took the spiraling way completed the glorious construction.

It is a rock terrace at the top of the stockade, which is 230 meters above the sea level and covers an area of 1200 square meters. Your mind would be opened while you look around. There is the Emperor's Hall built in early Qing Dynasty. There is a big mural on the wall which opposites the front door. The mural is about the story of the Nuwa Patch the Sky Hole. There is a stone under the mural, it shapes like the Baoshi Stockade. There is a cup-big hole in the back hall of the ancient temple, named Liumi Hole (in Chinese means rice coming out from the hole). There is a legend that this hole issued out some rice and just could be used for serving the monks after the temple was built. Later, the monks dug the hole bigger since they wanted to get more rice from the hole. But there's no rice issued from the hole any more. The greedy monks got what they deserved.

Shibaozhai - Sculptures

There are three sculptures in the stockade: the first one is about the story of Ba Manzi Suicides for Protecting the City, the second one is about the story of Zhang Fei Releases Yan Yan (a story happened during the Three Kingdoms Period), the third one is about the story of Heroine- Qin Liangyu. The simple and refined Shibao Street is at the foot of the Shibaozhai.

A preservation project - Shibaozhai Cofferdam which involves an investment of 80 million RMB was carried out and completed at the end of 2007. Since then Shibaozhai has become the biggest Potted Landscape in the world and also a Little Penglai(in Chinese means paradise) on Yangtze River.

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