For Chinese people, intense love is sometimes resembled as firm and eternal as a mountain. Zhenjiang city, with no towering mountains in itself, however, assembles the essence of all its tourism resources in three mountains. Zhenjiang is home to three of China’s four famous folk love stories. A number of legends, such as Dong Yong and the Seven Fairies, Huashan Ji in the Southern Dynasty, Liu Bei and Sun Shangxiang in the Three Kingdoms, Xu Xian and the White Snake, have left beautiful love imprints here in Zhenjiang.

Zhenjiang, located in the south of Jiangsu Province, is where the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal and the Yangtze River flow through and meet, forming a unique landscape line. This small ancient city, with years precipitating rich stories, is added a great charm by those stories containing wonderful elements of love.

Jinshan Mountain· The Legend of the White Snake

Jinshan Mountain was originally a small island in the Yangtze River, with the reputation of “a lotus flower in the heart of the river”. The Jinshan Temple is the core part of the whole scenic area. When arriving to Jinshan Temple, in addition to praying for good fortune, tourists without exception will climb the mountain, and enjoy the beautiful view of the river and sky. Visitors can see the scenery at Cishou Pagoda, and there is another spot called Liuyun Pavilion on the top of the Jinshan Mountain. The Liuyun Pavilion is also known as a pavilion available to overall view of river and sky. The steles written “Jiang Tian Yi Lan”, which means “overall view of river and sky”, was personally written by the Kangxi Emperor. In the northwest of Cishou Pagoda, there is a natural stone cave called Fahai Cave, which is the place where Fahai, the founder of Jinshan Temple, practiced penance. Interestingly, this venerable monk is portrayed as an unrepentant villain in The Legend of the White Snake.

Beigu Mountain · Liu Bei Seeking a Marriage Alliance at Sweet Dew Temple

Beigu Mountain is one of the scenic spots of “Three Mountains” in Zhenjiang, located between the other two Jinshan Mountain and Jiaoshan Mountain. Many of the scenic spots in the mountain are related to the story in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the most famous of which is the Sweet Dew Temple, where Liu Bei met Sun Shangxiang. The Romance of the Three Kingdoms was a novel about heroes and wars, which should have involved little love affairs. However, for the purpose of demonstrating the battle between Liu Bei and Sun Quan, it still fails to not mention the marriage between Liu and Sun.

After the Battle of the Red Cliff, Liu Bei showed no intention to return the territory of Jingzhou to Sun Quan, so Zhou Yu proposed to Sun Quan a badger game of taking Sun Quan’s sister, Sun Shangxiang, as a bait to ask Liu Bei to come to Jingkou (now Zhenjiang) for marriage and then took Liu Bei as a hostage in an attempt to recover Jingzhou. Zhu Geliang, the resourceful military adviser of Liu Bei, discovered their plot and designed a counterplot to deliberately make the marriage come true, which made Sun Quan lose both his sister and his troops.

 

The Multi-view Building, also known as Beigu Building, lies behind the Sweet Dew Temple, and is the best place to see the scenery. Standing on the building, one can see the Yangtze River surging when looking down, to the west can see Jinshan Mountain, to the east can see the Jiao Mountain. In the east of the Multi-view Building, there is a Jijiang Pavilion. It is said that Sun Shangxiang was distractedly grieved after hearing Liu Bei’s death, and threw herself into the river here.

 

In Zhenjiang, it is inevitable for us to be reminded of these romantic love stories by the mountains when talking about love, and the subtle feelings generated by the combination have helped us reunderstand the city.

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