A temple dedicated to the great general of Song Dynasty, Yue Fei which is located in the heart of Hangzhou.
The Spirit of Patriotism in Yue Fei Temple
The Heroic Tale of Yue Fei
Yue Fei was a great patriotic general of the Song Dynasty. Grew up as a farmer's son in Tangyin (known as Henan Province in the present time), Yue Fei whose martial arts skill is highly proficient decided to join the army when he was twenty years old. As a proof of his loyalty, Yue Fei had a tattoo which made by his mother with the phrase 'Loyal and Devoted to the Nation'. He is best known for successfully defeating Jin invaders in Zhuxianzhen Town and got a victory in Battle of Yancheng. However, the continuous triumph of Yue Fei and his troops made Emperor Gaozong felt worried because they may bring a crisis to his reign as he has to leave his throne once the arrested Emperors Huizong and Qinzong, who were imprisoned by Jin invaders, were free from the abductors. Thus, Emperor Gaozong followed the evil plot of Qin Hui, the prime minister of Southern Song Dynasty and the representative of peace group supporters to falsely accused Yue Fei and killed him secretly in the jail. After he was murdered at the age of 38, Yue Fei's body was stolen by prison guard named Wei Shun and buried near to the Subordinate Memorial of Jiuqu. Yue Fei was exonerated during the reign of Emperor Xiaozong and his body was moved to the current site. The first Memorial Temple of Yue Fei was built in 1221 and had undergone reconstructions in the next generations. The last restoration occurred in 1979 as the temple was thoroughly resurfaced.
Yue Fei's Tombstone
A memorial site and temple was built in front of Qixia Hill for Yue Fei, the Song Dynasty general who was falsely accused by the authorities and has always been respected as the embodiment of justice and loyalty. The visitors will be impressed at the sight of stone sculptures of horses, tigers, sheep, and figures that are arranged on both sides of the path leading the tomb of Yue Fei's. Beside Yue Fei's tomb is his son's tomb, Yue Yun who had been a capable assistant of his father on both sides of the enclosure. A carving stated 'Be Loyal to the Motherland' can be seen on the tomb's wall which is also known as the lifetime motto of Yue Fei. The mausoleum has undergone restorations for countless time but the form built from the 12th century still remains the same.
Tower of Devotion and Loyalty
Otherwise known as Jingzhongfang, Tower of Devotion and Loyalty is the wooden tower built as the first part of the temple. Two walls on both sides are carved in the Chinese character of 'Devotion and Loyalty'. A huge Yue Fei statue in the middle of the hall can be seen as it is wrapped in the colorful embroidered round cushion cover, holding a sword in his hand. Behind Yue Fei's Behind Yue Fei's statue is an inscription 'Recover Our Lost Territories' in his original handwriting whereas his life stories are depicted in the large pictures at the back of the hall. The picture of 373 cranes on the floor of the hall symbolized the loyal general's integrity and faithful mind. The five cast iron statues of the traitors and murderer including Qin Hui and his wife, Wang Shi, Moqi Xie, and Zhang Jun become the interesting part in Tower of Devotion and Loyalty as their depiction of kneeling in the ground while their hand tied behind their back is a strong contrast to the loyal general. The poems, calligraphy, couplet and steles in two corridors express the recollection and reverence to Yue Fei as well as the behind story of his murder. The couplet says, 'The green hill is fortunate to be the burial ground of a loyal general; the white iron was innocent to be cast into the statues of traitors', which is perfectly described how graceful Yue Fei's social status even after his unfair death.
Declared as a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site and selected by CNN as the top 12 superb sunset spots around the world, West Lake is located near Yue Fei Temple and recognized for its cloudy mountains, undulating hill, wonderful natural views. Not only sitting at the dock to marvel at the landscape you may also ride a bicycle or saunter in Su and Bai Causeway as these paths allow you to see most of West Lake scenery. When you want to get closer to the water, rent a boat cruise and enjoy the leisure time on the peaceful lake while looking at the mountains bridges, and pagodas.
How to Get Tickets?
There are two ticket categories applied, namely CNY 25 for the adults and CNY 12,5 for children from 120 to 150 cm. On the other hand, children below 120 cm do not have to pay a ticket.
How To Get Around?
Generally, the temple area is not too large so the movement may be limited to the people who have walking impairment and use the wheelchair as there are crowds visiting the temple everyday.
What Should I Wear?
It is best to wear courteous outfit as the temple is a highly respected place where the country's hero is buried. Bringing an umbrella and raincoat may become the right choice when you come to West Lake as the weather often changes in a day.
Best Time to Visit
It is advised for the visitor to come to Yue Fei Temple during its operational hour from 8.30 am to 5 pm
Yuan or RMB
Will I Need a Guide?
Yes, because the language may become the barrier between the foreign tourists and the functionary staffs.
How To Get There?
You can reach Yue Fei Temple by taking bus routes 7, 15, 27, or 28 as these routes stop at the Temple stop (Yuemiao). You also can take tourists' lines 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, take holiday lines 1, 4, and 6, and the West Lake pleasure boat, and disembark at the Temple.