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Ma'anshan


  Anhui's Yangtze Riverbiggest industrial city, Ma'anshan, mines much of the pig iron used in the Shanghai steel industry. It also has its own iron and steel works, limestone quarries,and chemical and cement factories. The city is linked to Wuhu and Nanjing by rail.

  A touching story is told of the city's name, which means Horse Saddle Hill.When the Kingdoms of Chu and Shu were at war in the third century, General Xiang Yu of Chu was defeated by Liu Bei and attempted to retreat to Wujiang on the north bank of Yangtze. Finding onley a small boat, he had his precious mount ferried across first. At this moment Liu Bei's pursuing soldiers arriced and Xiang yu,knowing he was trapped,his throat with his own sword. Seeing his master's courageous suicide, the horse leapt into the river and drowned. The boatman buried its saddle on the nearby hill.

  Buildings on Coloured Stone Cliff (CaishiJi), west of the city, commemorate the Tang poet, Li Bai (701--62). The three-storeyed Taibai Lou houses two Chinese boxwood statues of the poet, one depicting his immortal gesture of inviting the moon to join him in a cup of wine. Here too is the 'Tomb of Li Bai's Clothes and Official Hat'.According to the local legend, Li Bai's clothing was buried on Caishi Ji Yangtze Riverwhen he drowned after falling drunkenly from a boat one evening while attempting to embrace the moon's reflection in the river.

  The Three Scholars Grotto (Sanyuan Dong) was allegedly built by three grateful gentlemen who, on their way to the capital to take the imperial examinations, found safety and shelter under the cliff when their boat was caught in a sudden and violent storm. After all three had gained first-class honours and promotions, they recalled their close shave and donated funds for the building of this grotto.