Wudang Mountain 09-21-2004 15:23

The Wudang Mountain in central China鈥檚 Hubei Province has long been known for its traditional Taoist culture.

Originally called the Taihe Mountain, it is believed to be the place where Xuanwu the Great, a Taoist patron saint, was enshrined. It was renamed Wudang Mountain in the Song Dynasty some 1000 years ago.

LI YANGZHENG (Vice President, Chinese Academy of Taoism):

The principal reason for its fame as a Taoist shrine was its natural beauty. A long time ago, because of its beauty and tranquility, the mountain attracted a number of Taoist practitioners after the Qin and Han dynasties. These Taoists also conducted scientific activities, such as metallurgy. Besides, lasting wars forced refugees up to the mountain and they further developed the mountain making it a prosperous place.

The heyday of Taoism at Wudang Mountain occurred during the Ming Dynasty around 500 years ago and lasted some 200 years.

Temples, pavilions and palaces can be found all over the mountain, which Emperor Chengzu of the Ming Dynasty designated as the holiest of all mountains in China.


Xuwu was a god guarding the north. Historically speaking, the north was most vulnerable to attacks. So rulers of various dynasties sought his protection, hoping he would protect them and help guard their northern territories. Legend has it that the Wudang Mountain was the place where Xuanwu the Great perfected his skills and rose to Heaven. So Wudang was his base mountain. If you believe in the god Xuanwu, respect the god Xuanwu and seek his protection, you have to respect the Wudang Mountain.

Xuanyue Gate, built in 1552, used to be the entrance to the mountain. Visiting court officials were required to dismount from their horses or carriages when they arrived here.

A plaque hangs high on the gate. It bears an inscription by the Ming Dynasty emperor Jiajing which reads 鈥淵uanyue rules the land鈥. This shows the great importance the imperial court attached to the mountain.

With such an abundance of historical relics so developed Wudang Culture.

Wudang Kungfu distinguishes itself with its graceful and gentle movements.

The centuries-old Wudang Taoist music is another component of Wudang Culture.

In 1994, Wudang Mountain was listed as one of the world鈥檚 cultural heritage sites.

Editor:Xiang Jing

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