China Hangzhou-Home of the General: Yue Fei Temple
If you're only able to visit one of the many fine architectural structures on West Lake, make sure its Yue Fei Temple (Yuewang Temple). Located at the northern end of the Su Causeway, this splendid old temple was built in 1221 in honor of the much-revered General Yue Fei. Despite having successfully repelled several Tartar raids, he was falsely accused of high treason and, along with his son, was hung in 1142. Later, he was cleared of the charges and reburied on the site of the temple built in his name. Highlights of a visit include a statue of Yue Fei in the Temple Hall, the ceiling of which is richly decorated with cranes, a symbol of immortality. The temple also contains 86 stone plaques on which Emperor Gaozong and his wife engraved classical texts by Confucius, while the most valuable treasure is a stone celestial globe dating from the time of the Five Dynasties (907-960). Also worth a visit is the nearby 500-acre Hangzhou Botanical Gardens with 4,000 species of plants, a splendid herb garden, and numerous different kinds of bamboo.
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