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  Four kilometres (2.5 miles) northeast of Zhenjiang, the tiny island of Jiao Shan can be reachedYangtze River by a local ferry.It was named after a hermit scholar-monk, Jiao Guang,of the Eastern Han period (25--220), who is said to have lived in what is known as the Three Summons Cave.
Thrice Jiao was invited by the emperor to take an official post, and thrice he refused. He Iived to be 120 years old, treating and healing the local fisher folk.

  At the foot of the hill is Dinghui Temple (Temple of Stability and Wisdom), built on the site of an earlier temple in the Tang dynasty (618--907). It was burnt down and rebuilt in the Ming (1368--1644). Old ginkgo trees stand in front of the main hall which contains some fine bronze Iuohan (disciples of Buddha) statues, presented by temples at Wutai Shan in Shanxi Province.

  The chief attraction of the Jiao Shan Forest of Tablets (Bei Lin), a collection of over 260 inscribed stones classified into literary, artistic and historic works, the earliest of which date from the Eastern Jin dynasty (317--420), is the White Crane Tablet cut with the calligraphy of Wang Yizhe (321--79). Wang was fond of white cranes (which symbolize longevity) and on seeing one on Jiao Shan asked if he could have it. The monk refused at first, but on learning Wang's identity agreed that he could collect the crane on his next visit.

   Returning a year later, Wang discovered that the crane had died and had been buried, Yangtze Riverwrapped in yellow silk, on the hillside. His text of the sad story of the crane was preserved on a tablet on the hill. Later, during an earthquake, part of the inscription broke off and fell into the river. A thousand years later, in 1713, five pieces were recovered upstream, and were restored to their rightful place.

  The Cannon Platform dates from the first Anglo-Chinese Opium War. (Another lies on Elephant Hill on the south bank of the Yangtze.) In the course of the war British naval ships sailed up the river and, in a two-pronged attack, captured the stronghold, killing 500 Chinese troops. The walls, pockmarked with cannon shell are made of rammed earth and sticky--rice water.

  Near the top of the hill are viewing pavilions and the Bei Feng Yan cottage in which Zheng Banqiao (1693--1765), one of the Eight Eccentric Painters of the Yangzhou school, lived for five years.
Yangtze River
  A fascinating survivor of the foreign concession in Zhenjiang is the former British Consulate at the foot of a knoll overlooking the port. The compound consists of seven buildings, a couple of which now form the city's museum. They house a collection of ancient bronze ware, celadon, porcelain, fabrics. and a cache of Tang-dynasty silverware (618--907) unearthed in the Danyang area in 1983. Outside in the overgrown garden lies the abandoned anchor of HMS Amethyst, trapped and nearly
sunk by Communist shell--fire in l949. Cannons brought back from Jiaoshan recall Zhenjiang's involvement in the first Opium War.


What to See in ZhengJiang (1)

• What to See in ZhengJiang (2)

The Grand Canal