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  Sycamore trees line the streets of Jiujiang. The old downtown area is not large,sandwiched between Gantang Lake and the river bank. The old foreign concession area abuts the river steamer dock and some old buildings remain--a church, the old French hospital and the Council House (now the Bank of China).

  Crunchy, sweet Jiujiang tea biscuits made from tea oil, sesame and orange osmanthus flower originated in the Song dynasty, so did the potent, strange tasting local wine, FenggangJiu, made from glutinous rice and fermented in sealed vats for five years.

  Gantang Lake was divided into two by a dyke and bridge built in 821 during the Tang dynasty.Yangtze River Sixian Bridge, now enlarged, still stands on the causeway which one crosses to reach Yangyue Pavilion on the low hill overlooking the lake. It is well stocked with silver and grass carp, and seagulls skim its surface. lt is said that in the Three Kingdoms period (220--265) the Eastern Wu general, Zhou Yu, inspected his warships from a reviewing platform on the Lake, trees of which remain.

  Linked to the shore by a zigzag bridge is the pretty Yanshui (Misty Water)Pavilion. A pavilion was first built here in the Tang dynasty (618--907) by the poet Bai Juyi during his unhappy posting in Jiujiang. It was named the Drenched Moon Pavilion after a line from one of his poems:'Bidding farewell I saw the moon drenched by the river.'

  In the Northern Song period (960--1127) a highly regarded Neo-Confucian philosopherYangtze River, Zhou Dun, taught in Jiujiang and his son built a pavilion on the lake to his father's memory, calling it Yanshui Pavilion. The present island pavilion dates from the late Qing period (1644--1911). One small hall is dedicated to BaiJuyi, another rooms display local archaeological discoveries. The city's antiques store is located here.

  The Qing halls here are the oldest buildings left in jiujiang, although this Yuan-dynasty Buddhist temple was established earlier, in the sixth century. Three or four monks and several nuns tend the temple. The seven-storey Great Victory Pagoda, beside the temple, dates from the Song period (960--1Yangtze River279).

  This hexagonal seven-storey pagoda, overlooking the Yangtze embankment to the north-east of the city, was built in 1585. Damage to the 35-metre (115-foot) high pagoda caused by she1ling from Japanese gunboats in World War II is still visible.


  Near the waterfront is a small ancient well with a quaint history. Dug early in the Handynasty Yangtze River(206BC-AD 220), it connected with the Yangtze so that When a wind created waves on the river the surface of the well water would Tipple too. The well became clogged and disused over the years until it was rediscovered in the third century, and the original inscription and date were uncovered. This was such a good omen that the well was renamed Auspicious Well. The poet Li Bai in the eighth century referred to it as the Wave Well in one of his poems, as did Su Dongpo. Waves no longer appear on lts surface but the well is still in use.

  Twenty-two kilometres (13.5 miles) southwest of Jiujiang at the foot of Lushan is the Donglin (Eastern Forest) Temple, built in 386 for the monk Hui Yuan (334--416),founder of the Pure Land sect of Buddhism, whose overgrown grave is behind the temple. He spent many years translating Buddhist scriptures, and among his 123 disciples were an Indian and a Nepali. The temple reached its zenith in the Tangdynasty (618--907), with a vast library of scriptures and over 300 halls and residences. Seriously damaged during the Taiping Rebellion (1850--64), the temple was almost ruined in the Republican period (1911-49). Today there is a community of 20 monks who hold daily services in the temple halls. Behind the temple in a bamboo grove is the Well of Intelligence--from which every visitor is anxious for a sip. The Luohan Pine trees in the courtyard are said to have been planted by Hui Yuanhimself. Hui Yuan is also said to have struck the ground with his staff, causing the Ancient Dragon Spring to gush forth, thus proving his right to establish himself here.Nearby is the Xi Lin Pagoda(Xi Lin Ta), all that remains of an earlier temple complex.

JiuJiang and its history

• What to see in Jiujiang


Stone Bell Hill

Dragon Palace Cave & Poyang Lake