Yue Fei Temple & Mausoleum
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The Yue Fei Temple (a.k.a. Yuewang Temple) is located at the foot of the Qixia Hill near Hangzhou's famous West Lake. It is dedicated to Yue Fei, a military general of the Southern Song dynasty who is still held in high regard by the Chinese people today for his patriotism. It was under the military leadership of Yue Fei in 1140 AD that the Southern Song army came close to regaining the northern territories that had been lost to non-Chinese invaders (the Jurchen people and their Jin dynasty) in 1127 AD. Yue Fei was ultimately betrayed and executed though.
As the Emperor Gaozong didn't reciprocate Yue Fei's loyalty, it took more than two decades for Yue Fei's honor to be restored posthumously. The succeeding Emperor Xiaozong not only dropped all charges against him but also granted him the posthumous name Wumu in 1169 AD. A few decades and two emperors later, Yue Fei was granted the posthumous title King of È by the Emperor Ningzong in 1211 AD. The Yue Fei Temple was then built in 1221 AD.
It includes the Yue Fei Mausoleum which is the area where you'll find the tombs of Yue Fei and his son Yue Yun. The tombs were demolished and rebuilt or renovated several times in their history. The current tombs that date from the time of the Qing dynasty last underwent significant repairs in 1979. Stone sculptures of horses, tigers and sheep from the time of the Ming dynasty decorate the open-air enclosure of the Yue Fei Mausoleum. Four fenced-in iron sculptures opposite the tombs represent the people who betrayed Yue Fei. These were the Song dynasty chancellor Qin Hui, Qin's wife Wang Shi (Lady Wang), the general Zhang Jun and the court official Moqi Xie. The four statues of these sinners symbolically endure their eternal penance by kneeling in pairs with their hands tied behind their backs.
The Shrine of Remembrance is the main hall of the Yue Fei Temple. In it, you will see a large statue of General Yue Fei. The Chinese inscription that signifies "Recover Our Lost Territories" on the tablet above the statue's head replicates Yue Fei's original handwriting and large images at the back of the hall tell the story of his life. The 373 crane images that are drawn on the floor of the main hall symbolize the values of faithfulness and integrity that Yue Fei exemplified in people's minds.