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Yunbu Bridge adds to Taishan Mountain`s attraction

Taishan Mountain`s ancient architectural complex, which entered the list of cultural relics under national first-class protection this year, actually includes seven pavilions, nine memorial gateways and six bridges, in addition to the group of buildings.

Yunbu Bridge (or the Cloud Bridge), located behind Wusong Pavilion and to the north of Kuaihuosanli, is one of them.

The bridge, originally a wooden bridge named "the Red Bridge," was changed into a stone bridge and acquired its present name during the period of the Republic of China (1912-1949).

Today an ancient legend about the bridge is still popular among people in the region.

Once upon a time, a goddess named Bixia (later becoming the Goddess of Taishan Mountain) vied with his brother for the ownership of Taishan Mountain. Neither were willing to concede.

So they decided to solve the problem through a mountain-climbing race and agreed that the person who first climbed onto the top of Taishan Mountain in the race would retain ownership of Taishan Mountain.

The race was held on the 15th day of the third month according to Chinese lunar calendar. The goddess knew that she would lose the race if she chose the ordinary route to the mountain`s top because her brother was much stronger than her.

Fortunately, the goddess found a shortcut to the mountaintop. However, when she arrived at Kuaihuosanli, an abyss stopped her. When she was worrying about the dilemma, a giant pine tree fell down from the mountaintop and became a bridge across the abyss.

The goddess was so glad and said, "It must be a blessing from heaven!"

But she then found it was still difficult to cross the bridge because the bridge was so narrow and the abyss was so deep.

When she was weeping desperately, a cloud from the mountaintop drifted down to her and filled the abyss. The goddess crossed the bridge easily and climbed up onto the top ahead of her brother.

After the goddess became the "Goddess of Taishan Mountain," people around Taishan Mountain regarded the day as the goddess` birthday and named the bridge made of pine tree "the Cloud Bridge" to commemorate the race.

In the 1930s, the Shandong provincial government repaired and strengthened the bridge, and named it "the Yunmu Bridge."

However, in 1936, a mountain flood destroyed the bridge.

The next year, the then China Travel Agency gave financial aid to the bridge`s rebuilding. Upon completion, the bridge acquired its present name "Yunbu Bridge."

The new graceful stone bridge spans 11.8 metres, has an arch with a height of 6.1 metres and a width of 4.35 metres.

Today, Yunbu Bridge has become one of the major scenic spots on Taishan Mountain. Visitors standing on the bridge can enjoy a magnificent view of a waterfall, the clouds and the sunset.

In addition, they can see dozens of ancient calligraphy rock sculptures on the two sides of the bridge.

Recent scientific research has revealed that the abyss and the waterfall under Yunbu Bridge have great geological value as they were formed by a typical fault. Besides sightseeing, the tourists will also gain first-hand geological knowledge of the bridge.

On September 18, Taishan Mountain National Geopark joined the Global Geopark Network at the second International Geoparks Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland.(SD News)
 
Date:2006-10-20 15:35:27 From:sd news    
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