JingJiang Castle was the home of the enthroned princes of the Ming Dynasty. JingJiang Castle is located at the center of Guilin city, with an area of 6,100 square meters, and the Solitary Beauty Peak, is a tall mountain peak that's located inside the JingJiang Mansion. The Solitary Beauty Peak is another major scenic spot in Guilin city, and in ancient times, it was known as the "sky supporting pillar".
Main entrance of JingJiang Princes City
Solitary Beauty Peak & JingJiang Princes City
The entire JingJiang Mansion (although in Chinese, it's named the JingJiang Royal City) is surrouned by walls, and it was actually the inner city of Guilin that was occupied by the Princes and their families. The construction of the palace began in 1372AD, and at the center of the JingJiang Castle is the Solitary Beauty Peak.
Many princes in Chinese history lived here before they were enthroned as the emperor, and this city was known as an emperor's birthplace. 14 princes of 11 generations have lived here. During the Qing Dynasty, the JingJiang Princes City was changed into the Guangxi provincial examination house. After the Qing Dynast, during the PRC rule, Dr. Sun Yat-sen had his headquarters here for a period of time
After entering the JingJiang princes city, the organizers there put tourists in tour groups of 15 to 20 people, and assign a tour guide to each group. Our first stop was the Chengyun Palace, which was built in 1372 during the Ming Dynasty, and it was the administration office of the city. The palace was burned down twice during the Qing Dynasty, and very little of the original palace is left.
The next stop was at the famous Solitary Beauty Peak (Duxiu San). At the base of the Solitary Beauty Peak is the "Study Cave", where the first poem that praised the beauty of Guilin's scenery was engraved by the great writer Yan Yanzhi of the Southern Song Dynasty (420-479). The most famous line "Guilin's Water and Mountain is the Best Under the Sky" was engraved here over 800 years ago.
I'm standing at the base of the Solitary Beauty Peak. In the background, carved on the cliff side are the words "Southern Pillar of the Sky".
Right at the base of the Solitary Beauty Peak, is a memorial for Dr. Sun Yat-sen.
We had the option to climb the solitary beauty peak after the tour was complete. However, I didn't feel up to climbing a 3rd mountain peak in one day. :) Our last stop was the Imperial Examination House where national scholars came here to write the imperial exams, and if they were successful, they were granted office and fame.
During this tour, they had a little reenactment of the imperial examinations where all the tourists took part. They handed you a test paper, and each person was placed in a small stall to write the test. Obviously, I really had no idea what the answers were, so I didn't even bother. :)
Another photo of the base of the Solitary Peak - beautiful scenery like this is everywhere in Guilin.