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Hangzhou Yue Fei Temple


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Hangzhou Yue Fei Temple also called Yuewang Memorial Temple (岳王庙) is in memory of General Yue Fei, who was the most famous patriotic marshal in ancient China. There are lots of memorial temples nationwide, and the most famous one is located on the side of West Lake in Hangzhou, which was built in Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279).

The Profile of General Yue Fei

Yue Fei(岳飞, 1103~1142) was a famous patriotic general to fight against Jin Troops led by Jinwuzhu(金兀术). Thanks to his great management and deployment, he defeated Jin troops in Zhuxianzhen Town(朱仙镇), and got a victory in Battle of Yancheng(郾城大捷). He threatened Jin authorities too much, and recovered the sovereignty of Song Empire. The soldiers of Jin were afraid of Yu Fei, and a saying spread widely – It is easy to move the mountain, but hard to defeat troops of General Yue (撼山易, 撼岳家军难). However, the supporters of peace group represented by Qin Hui(秦桧, the infamous prime minister of Southern Song Dynasty in the reign of Emperor Gaozong) and Emperor Gaozong were all scared of the acute northward defeat, and especially Emperor Gaozong, who was worried about the series of victories of Yue Fei may bring a crisis to his throne, because he had to say goodbye to his reign once the arrested Emperors Huizong and Qinzong, who were both imprisoned by Jin and known as an Incident of Jingkang(靖康之难), were free from Jin. After 18 times of demands to summon back, Yue Fei was murdered finally by them. However, his patriotism was not forgotten, and was honored to be Yue Wang.

The Layout of Yue Fei Temple -

Yue Fei Temple located on the northwest side of West Lake Scenic Area and the south foot of Qixia Hill was listed to be a national key site of history and culture. Yue Fei Temple is close to Yellow Dragon Cave, Zhejiang Library, Site of Quyuan Fenghe and Impression West Lake, Su Causeway, and Yuquan Campus of Zhejiang University.

After Yue Fei died, his body was stolen by prison guard named Wei Shun(隗顺) and buried near to Jiuqu Congci(九曲从祠, The Subordinate Memorial of Jiuqu). During the reign of Emperor Xiaozong, Yue Fei was exonerated, and his body was moved to the current site. And the first Memorial Temple in memory of Yue Fei was buit in 1221. In next generations, it was preserved and rebuilt. Today’s temple was reconstructed in 1715, and largely rebuilt in 1918. In 1979, it was thoroughly resurfaced.

The main gate of Yue Fei Temple was a style of double-eave architecture, and the tablet was hung in the middle and written with “Yue Wang Miao”(岳王庙). And a famous couplet is pasted on both sides of the gate, and the content hereinafter:

三十功名尘与土 – The achievements and reputation over the past thirty years are like dust and earth
八千里路云和月 – The expedition of eight thousand miles is accompanied with clouds and moon

yue fei memorial temple
The Chinese characters with a patriotic
and passionate significance of repay the
country with supreme loyalty, which were
stabbed on the back of Yue Fei by
her mother, a hero-like mother.

This is the famous verses from Manjianghong(满江红), a famous ci written by Yue Fei themed with patriotism and self-development. There is a square yard through the gate. The main building is Zhonglieci(忠烈祠, the memorial of loyalty and honesty). The tablet of the hall was written by Ye Jianying(叶剑英, a famous marshal and politician of socialistic China) with four characters – Xin Zhao Ri Yue(心昭日月, The Heart like Sun and Moon). In the hall, there is a colorized statue of Yue Fei with a height of 4.5 meters. Above the statue, it is a tablet themed with Huan Wo He Shan(还我河山,Return us our country) was said to be written by Yue Fei himself. On both sides, there are several old tablets like Jing Zhong Bao Guo(精忠报国, repay the country with supreme loyalty) written by calligrapher of Ming Dynasty, Bi Xue Dan Xin(碧血丹心, righteous blood and loyal heart) written by Zhao Puchu(赵朴初, the president of The Buddhism Association of China and Hangzhou Xiling Society of Seal Arts), and Hao Qi Chang Cun(浩气长存, a noble spirit that will never perish) written by Sha Menghai(沙孟海, the president of Hangzhou Xiling Society of Seal Arts).

On the right side of the hall, it is the mausoleum of Yue Fei built in the architectural style of Southern Song Dynasty in 1979. The tomb was a round type. On the gravestone, it is carved with several characters – Yuee King Mausoleum of Song Dynasty (宋岳鄂王墓). On the side, it is the tomb of Yue Yun(岳云, the son of Yue Fei was murdered together with Yue Fei in Fengbo Pavilion). On the opposite of the mausoleum, there are four kneeing statues respectively the statue of Qin Hui(秦桧), the statue of Qin Hui’s Wife(王氏), the statue of Moqi Xie(万俟卨) and the statue of Zhang Jun(张俊). The statues were all made of the white iron, and they well exposed and bowed their heads’ to the mausoleums. In the past, the children were encouraged to pee on the statues to insult them. There is a famous couplet behind the statues. The details as below:

青山有幸埋忠骨 – The Green Mountain is lucky to be the site of burying the loyal bones
白铁无辜铸佞臣 – The White Iron is innocent to model the statues of the evil officials

There is a yard outside of the grave area, and a pavilion named Jingzhong Boting(精忠柏亭) to hold the siliconized cypress, which judged by modern technology has a history over 120, 000, 000 years. In the garden, there is a stele corridor displaying the manuscripts of Yue Fei and the prose of writers of different generations.

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Editor: Julius from Mildchina
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