Take a walk around Hangzhou’s Temple of Yue Fei

On March 24, we celebrate the 915th birthday of Yue Fei, one of China’s most famous military generals and patriotic symbols. The tragic hero is commemorated and worshiped as a Daoist deity at China’s Four Great Yue Fei Temples in Tangyin county, Henan (Yue’s birthplace), Kaifeng and Hangzhou (imperial capitals in Yue’s time), and Xinhui, Guangdong. 

TWOC travels to the Yue Fei Temple in Hangzhou, where Yue was executed and buried, to see how the people remember their hero.

The warrior poet Yue Fei’s (岳飞) mausoleum and temple is located on the shore just a few minutes’ walk west from the Xiling Bridge entrance to Gushan Hill—following Beishan Road, you can’t miss it if you look on your right.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that most Chinese have heard the tale of the Southern Song Dynasty military commander Yue Fei. He’s been immortalized in countless literary and cinematic works; invariably he is the hero of the tale, a determined general whose skill at arms, loyalty to the crown and prescience regarding the growing threat from northern invaders became legendary—as did his ill-fated quarrel with the Machiavellian royal chancellor Qin Hui (秦桧).

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David Dawson is the former deputy editor of The World of Chinese.

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