The Yue Fei Temple, also known as Yuewang in Chinese, is a temple located very close to the West Lake in southeastern Tangyin County, Hangzhou. The Temple was built to honor Yue Fei, a Chinese national hero who lived during the Southern Song Dynasty. He was a general who courageously battled the Jurchen Jin Dynasty through the Jin–Song Wars when Hangzhou had become the new capital of China. (Photo by © WIL via Flickr)
There is not much activity to do in the Yue Fei Temple, but you can get a better understanding of China’s history through the exhibits here. This temple is one of the best-preserved old Chinese structures and The State Council announced it as a major national protected monument in 1961. The temple has been reconstructed multiple times over the years, but most of the tombs and the sculptures inside were not changed. Up to this date, much of the sculptures are still the original ones constructed in the 12th century.
Who was Yue Fei?
Yue Fei was born in 1103 in a farmer family. He was very talented in learning the trades of combat. He joined the army when he was 20 years old and gradually became a famous militarist and brave general in the end.
Yue Fei was very skilled in martial art and fought the Jin invaders who came from the north. Yue Fei’s loyalty is one of his main symbols, and his mother tattooed the phrase “Loyal and Devoted to the Nation” on his back. Yue Fei was eventually put to death under false charges when he was only 39 years old and had never compromised his loyalty to China.
What Is Inside the Yue Fei Temple?
Within the doors of Yue Fei Temple, there is a part of this region’s rich history. This temple was built in 1221, 79 years after Yue Fei was put to death, to commemorate his services and loyalty to the country. This area is around 6,000 square meters (6458 square feet). The temple also has more than 40 statues, 300 steles, and numerous steles written by the Chinese of ancient times. These items have been found in more than 100 rooms and halls of this place. Here you have the chance to visit many of them.
The Tower of Devotion and Loyalty
The Tower of Devotion and Loyalty is the first constructed section of the Yue Fei Temple. In this wooden tower, there are two halls on both sides in which, you can find Chinese characters for devotion and loyalty written.
This tower possesses a dramatic scene immortalized within it. As you step inside the hall, you can see a gigantic brass statue of Yue Fei and five iron statues of his five murderers. There is a plaque on the back of Yue Fei’s figure, which translates as “Recover Our Lost Territories”. It is considered to be Yue’s original calligraphy
The murderers are the Southern Song Prime Minister, Qin Hui, his wife Lady Wang, two subordinates of Qin, Moqi Xie, and Zhang Jun. These statues have their hands behind their backs and tied. They were forced to kneel in front of the tomb of Yue Fei to honor him for the things they did wrong.
The statues of these people used to be cursed and maybe even thrown objects at, but nowadays they are considered as historical relics and they are protected by putting iron casts on them. You can also see a couplet on the gate which translates as “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.”
This is the story regarding Yue Fei’s death, who was one of the most admired national heroes of China. A man who was executed after for crimes he had not committed.
Mausoleum of Yue Fei
Visiting the mausoleum of Yue Fei is highly recommended as well. Here is the place to pay tribute to the brave and loyal Chinese general. Here is a house to both Yue Fei, and his oldest son Yue Yun. There is a carving on the walls which translates as “Be Loyal to the Motherland”. It describes Yue Fei’s short and perfect life.
|How to get to?|
|By Bus||Use buses 7, 27, 51, 52, 118, and leave at the Yue Fei Temple station.|
|By Boat||Get on the West Lake pleasure boat and get off at the Temple.|
|Children (1.2 m – 1.5 m)||12.5 Yuan|
|Children (Under 1.2 m)||Free|
|Every Day||7:30 to 17:30|
When you enter the temple, you will see interesting carvings with poems by prominent Chinese poets written to honor Yue Fei. You can ask your guide to help you with the meaning of the poems. Finally, if you have any more information to share, feel free to leave your comments for us. Also, our professional guides are prepared to reply to your questions about this temple as soon as possible.