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White Emperor City


Fengjie County, Chongqing surburb, middle of China

Reasons to visit

A must stop of Yangtze River Cruise; best place to watch the entrance of Three Gorges

Our Ratings

Opening Hours

  • 6:30-18:00

As another side trip of the Yangtze cruise we made a visit to the White Emperor City. White Emperor City gained this name by an official who saw vapor in the shape of a dragon rising from a well. He took this as a good omen and declared himself as the White Emperor and this to be his city.

But this isn't what the White Emperor City is famous for. Liu Bei, the emperor of the smallest kingdom (Shu) during the Three Kingdoms period, passed away here after losing a battle to the Wu Kingdom. Before he passed away he asked his prime minister (Zhuge Liang) to take care of his son and look after his kingdom. Zhuge Liang was very skilled and kept the kingdom together until his death but it fell apart after that. This is chronicled in a classic Chinese book on the Three Kingdoms.

White Emperor City lies at the west entrance to the Qutang Gorge. The view looking toward the Qutang Gorge is depicted on the back of the Chinese 10-yuan bill. When the Three Gorges Dam is complete the White Emperor City will be an island.


Fengjie White Emperor City is located in the north shore of the Yangtze river of Qutang Gorge, east to KuiMen, surrounded by eight waterfall, surrounded on three sides by water, in water levels, for all previous dynasties mohican, fengjie city, 8 kilometers, 451 kilometers away from downtown chongqing.It back on high, the Yangtze river in the former, imposing manner is very spectacular, is long on three gorges punters equally famous scenic spot.

White Emperor City

Historical Development

White Emperor City formerly known as Ziyang City, the name of White Emperor City first appeared in the western Han dynasty. When Wangmang usurped throne, his general Gongsun Shu set up a separatist regime by force of arms in Sichuan, and claimed to be the king of Shu. Gongsun Shu gradually expanded his force and ambitious, and he wanted to be emperor. He rode to the Qutang gorge entrance, and found that here strategically located and difficult of access, so he expanded bases and station troops. Gongsun Shu later heard that in the city there was a Crane Well, where often come up to a white mist, its shape is like a white dragon. Gongsun Shu has deliberately mystifying and said it was "white dragon come up the well" that it would be a sign that he ascended the throne and became dragon (emperor) in the future. Then, he called himself White Emperor (25th year), and found the capital here. And the Ziyang city named "White Emperor City" accordingly; this mountain also renamed "White Emperor Mountain".

What to See

White Emperor City broadly means White Emperor Temple, inside there are Mingliang Palace, Wuhou Temple, Guanxing Pavilions and other Ming and Qing dynasties buildings. Mingliang Palace was built in twelfth year of Jiajing period (1533) which is the main building inside White Emperor City, there are statues of Liubei, Zhuge liang, Guanyu, and Zhangfei. In the temple there are showroom for cultural relics and poetic history hall, where unearthed cultural relics and famous ancient painting and calligraphy since the neolithic age. These ancient buildings and treasures make White Emperor City richer.
White Emperor City
【Mingliang Palace】
The giant spacious palace was built during Ming Jiajing period 11th year (1532 AD). Inside the palace there consecrates color statues of Liubei, Guanyu, and Zhangfei. There was originally Gongsun Shu statue inside Mingliang Palace that was the common people built to commemorate the Gongsun Shu. Because during the Gongsun Shu Regime, the war is frequent in many places, but White Emperor City was peaceful, the local people in memory Gongsun Shu, specially built White Emperor Temple in the White Emperor City, and molded a statute. In the Ming dynasty, the statue of Gongsun Shu was moved, and replaced by Liubei statute.

【Wuhou Temple】
Located on the west side of Mingliang Palace, the Wuhou Temple sacrifices painted statues of Zhuge liang, his son Zhuge zhan and grandson Zhuge shang. According to historical records, Zhuge liang’s son and grandson are virtuous court officials, and they did a lot of things for Shu people. Zhuge liang is the actual rulers of Kingdom of Shu after Liubei died, and has been dubbed as Martial Marquis. During his governance, kingdom of Shu was prosperous and strong.

【Guanxing Pavilion】
It is located in front of Wuhou Temple. Guanxing Pavilion has a total of 6 corners 12 columns. The base is 12 stakes and the upper is supported by 6 stakes. Cornices, rake angle with chic modeling, the design is very elegant. It is said that when Zhuge liang led troops to Sichuan, he looked at stars, used astrology, and thought fighting strategy, so the Guanxing Pavilion (stargazing pavilion) gained this name. In the pavilion there was hanging a clock, and stone table and stone seats engraved with Dufu famous poem “Eight Poems of Autumn” when he stayed in Kuizhou.

【Stele Forest】
East and west stele forest is on both sides of Mingliang Palace and Wuhou Temple respectively. Here assembled inscriptions and steles from Sui dynasty to the Qing dynasty more than 70 pieces of stone inscriptions in official script, regular script, running hand, and cursive script, which is the Chinese calligraphy art. One of the most famous is two pieces of steles in Sui dynasty of more than 1300 years. One is the Epitaph Long Gong Mountain, another is Jinlun Temple Dagoba Tablet.
White Emperor City

Best time to Visit

March to May, September to November is the best time to travel White Emperor City

How to Get to White Emperor City

You may take high speed hovercraft from Chongqing Chaotianmen Dock to Fengjie New County for 7 hours, and then transferring to public bus to White Emperor City for 30 minutes; or taking bus in Chongqing Longtousi Bus Station to Fengjie County, the whole driving time might be 5.5 hours, and then transferring to taxi or public bus from Fengji County to White Emperor City.

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