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Lishan Beacon Tower

Mount Li, Xi'an attraction

Mount Li
Mount Li is located in the northwest of Xi'an in Shaanxi Province, China. It is a part of the Qinling mountain range and rises to a height of 1302 metres above sea level. Mount Li was said to "shine like a beacon in the evening sunlight". Today, Li Mountain National Forest Park is a national level protected site and an AAAA rated tourist attraction classified as a cultural and historic monument.

Some ancient tales say that the literal Chinese name "Black Steed Mountain" stems from its resemblance to a horse whilst others that the name arose during the Shang and Zhou Dynasties because the "Black Steed Tribe", lived in this area. Another legend cites the mountain as the place from where the goddess Nuwa, creator of mankind, repaired the wall of heaven.


Mount Li Beacon

It will be nice for visitors to enjoy the sunset on Mount Li, the sunset pavilion, named Wanzhao Ting was built to appreciate the splended sunset. There is also a sidestep path with a length of more than 3,200 meters leading to the mountaintop. This path further leads to the Laojun Palace on the third peak of western Xiuling. The Laojun Palace is the famous Taoist temple in Lishan Mountain. You can reach the eastern Beacon Tower on the first peak of western Xiuling after going through the Laojun Temple. The historical literary quotation that the seigneurs are fooled by the King You with war flame, and a single smile makes the king lose his country just happened here.

Tradition has it that the King You of the Western Zhou Dynasty (11thcentury BC - 771 BC) once set fire on the beacon tower to fool the seigneurs in order to put a single smile on the face of his concubine Baosi. When the Quan Rong (leader of a certain minority tribe) attacked the Lishan Mountain, King You urgently ordered the beacon tower set on fire, but all the seigneurs did not come. Consequently, King You was killed, and Baosi was taken away. The western Zhou Dynasty thus vanished.


How to Use Beacon Tower to Defense

In Peaceful Days, The Beacon Tower was the place where soldiers kept watch and animal dung and fire wood were saved. Soldiers raised sheep and cattle to eat and took their dung to burn, sometimes wolf dung was also used, and this is the reason why the Beacon Tower Smoke is called "Langyan" (Wolves' Smoke). 

While when the war was coming, soldiers would light the fire wood to tell the next watch tower that dangers approached, so everyone who watch tower would then get the message one after another until every soldier was fully alarmed and ready to fight.


Legend of Beacon Tower

King You was the last king of the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th Century BC - 771 BC). He was a foolish and self-indulgent ruler. Baosi, the beautiful concubine whom he loved, was very solemn and never cracked a smile. King You asked people in and out of court for ideas to make her smile. However, none of their suggestions worked and the beauty still looked unhappy.

beacon_tower.jpgA court official named Guo Shifu then suggested that the King light the Beacon Towers all on Mt. Lishan. The towers had been used as warning signals against enemy attacks and to summon help. Fires or lanterns were used at night and smoke signals during the day. He assured the King that Baosi would smile when she saw that so many soldiers were fooled. The King agreed to try this plan. He took Baosi to Mt. Lishan, ordered his men to light the beacon towers and waited. When nearby rulers saw the flames in the sky, they thought the King was in danger and dispatched soldiers to his aid. King You then told them that it was only a joke. On seeing the disappointed soldiers scrambling to leave, baosi burst into a smile. This made the King very happy. He rewarded Guo Shifu generously. The Joke was repeated more than once.

But as a Chinese saying goes, "Sadness Usually Follows Extreme Happiness." In 771 BC, the Northern Tribe Of Quan Rong invaded his country. The King, as usual, commanded his soldiers to light the towers, but by this time the other rulers dad wised up and ignored his call Ffor help. The King was killed and his beauty was captured. The Western Zhou Dynasty was collapsed.


Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

Tel: +86 29 83812003 

Address: 38 Huaqing Road

Admission: CNY 40 (December to February); 70 yuan (March to November)

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