Updated: 2013-07-08 19:20
The Jiaxiu Tower, quite similar to the giant'ao' (sea turtle), is on the Nanming River, in Guiyang. This traditional Chinese-style structure was built in 1597, during the Ming Dynasty, and is connected to the banks on both sides of the river by the Fuyu Bridge. It was built by Jiang Dongzhi, the governor of Guizhou province and had been enlarged six times by 1981, when the Guiyang Government set aside funds to repair it. The tower has stood for 400 years and is witness to Guiyang’s past and a symbol of its cultural development.
Jiaxiu Tower has three stories, three eaves, four corners and a dome, with a structure that is unique in early architecture of China. This feature makes the tower famous and enhances its appreciation, attracting tourists and architects to get a close look at it. The tower is around 20 meters high and has upturned eaves supported by 12 stone columns, protected by white carved stone rails. People can enjoy the scenery around the tower, with the 90-m Fuyu Bridge looking like a dragon lying on the water. It passes through the Tower and and has the Hanbi Pavilion on it, with Hanbi Pond and the Shuiyue Platform. To the south of the bridge is the Cuiwei Tower.
Many authors wrote poems on the Jiaxiu Tower, one of the most popular of which is the 206-character couplet by Liu Yushan, of the Qing Dynasty. It is 26 characters longer than the "longest couplet" in the world, on the Daguan Tower, in Kunming, Yunnan province. Liu's couplet describes the geography and other features of Guiyang, a mountain city. The tower unites picturesque mountains and brilliant water with its exclusive beauty and, when evening falls and the bright lights come on, you’ll be amazed if you visit it.
The long couplet gives the history of the tower and its location then details the scenery around it, with the author expressing his love ascending the Tower and appreciating the scenery.
Travel Tips: The Jiaxiu Tower is near Dananmen Gate, in downtown Guiyang, and can be reached by buses No 1 and 2 on the ring route, by getting off at the Post Office then walking for about 5 minutes.