Yuexiu Park is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Guangzhou, China, which combines ancient sites with beautiful natural surroundings. One of the city’s emblems, built in 1960 from more than 130 pieces of granite, is the Five Rams Sculpture (above), located atop Yuexiu Hill. It represents the rams which the Five Immortals rode into the city soon after its founding in order to teach the residents how to grow rice, thereby ending the specter of famine. The rams are consequently considered to be symbols of good luck.
Also atop Yuexiu Hill is the 5-storied pagoda known as the Zhenhai Tower, or “Sea Guard Tower” (bottom), which has housed the Guangzhou Museum since it was opened in 1928. The tower has been destroyed and rebuilt 5 times since 1380, with the various towers appearing in Chinese poetry and art. The museum features around 1000 pictures and other exhibits on the history of the city. The main floor features a geographical model of the ancient city, while the 2nd floor features unearthed remains from the Neolithic Age, and the 3rd floor displays historical relics from the Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. At the front of the building, there is a pair of 2 meter-high red sandstone lions made during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
Just to the east of the Zhenhai Tower lies the Zhongyuan Tower, the major building of the Guangzhou Museum’s Art Gallery, which was built in 1930 to imitate the architectural style of the Hall of Literary Glory in Beijing’s Forbidden City. Its two exhibition halls house steles representing masterpieces of Chinese calligraphy from the Jin to the Qing Dynasties. Since the end of the Ming Dynasty, Guangzhou was an important port for foreign trade along the maritime Silk Road. Therefore, craftwork featuring the south of China became increasingly popular among western countries. The gallery exhibits cultural relics and local handicrafts showcasing the cultural exchange between China and the West at that time. The main floor exhibits include silks, textiles and embroidery, while the 2nd floor displays Chinese paintings of various dynasties and the 3rd floor has painted porcelain, lacquer work and ivory carvings. There is also a Paleontology Exhibition Hall, to the east of Zhongyuan Tower, with a display of fossils from the Paleozoic and Mesozoic Eras, as well as dioramas featuring the daily life of our proto-human ancestors.
- Visited: Jan 2004