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The tour line of Red Gate

1. Daizong Archway
  It locates on the south end of Red Gate road, is the starting point for climbing Mount Tai. It was established in reign of emperor Longqing (1567-1572) of Ming dynasty, and was rebuilt in eighth year (1730) of Yongzhen in Qing dynasty. It is stone lane with 4 support pillars and 3 gates, impressed in style of boldness and simplicity. Three golden Chinese characters "Daizong Archway" are the guiding sign. 2 steles standing in the front record the detail of the reconstruction of Archway of Mount Tai and the reconstruction of Mount Thai.

2. Yitian Gate
  Yitian Gate is locating at the beginning the middle Tai road, is a stone lane built cross-road with 2 pillars and 1 gate. It is built in Ming Dynasty and inscribed by Longguang (a senior officer). Li Shude, the head of Shandong province in fifty-six year (1717) of Emperor Kangxi in Qing dynasty rebuilt it. On the two sides of the Yitian Gate, there are stele with “The Wonder of the World” written by Yang Keda, officer during the reign of Longqing in Ming Dynasty and stele with the characters “The Beginning Place of Eighteen Mountain Bend Stairways” written by Sun Jiashu, officer of Tongzhou city during the reign of Emperor Jiajing.
3. Spot where Confucius Visited
   It is the stone lane with 4 support pillars and 3 gates, and locates on the north of Yitian Gate. Together with some green vines, it looks elegant and dignified. The nameplate “spot where Confucius visited” were written on the head. It was built in 1560(Ming Dynasty), the Couplet on the two pillars said “The visiting of plain king was well known for all people,the ascending of Brilliant emperors were celebrated for ten thousand years”. There are two steles stand at both sides: the east one is “Ascending begins Here” written by Zhai Tao, officer of Jinan during the reign of Emperor Jiajing in Ming Dynasty; the western one was written “The First Mountain” by Li Fuchu, monitor of Shandong province. On the north, there is Archway of Heavenly Street with two pillars and single gate.
4. Red Gate Palace
   It is located on north of the “Spot where Confucius visited". Zhongxi is at its east and Dazang Mountain is at its west. Interestingly, there are two red stones of the Dazang Mountain and looks like a gate, so the Red Gate Palace got its name. There is no record for when this Palace was constructed, but it known that it was reconstructed in sixth year (1626) during the reign of Emperor Tianqi in Ming Dynasty. It is divided into the east courtyard and the west courtyard, and they are connected by Feiyun (flying cloud) Loft which is like an arch across the road, the name of “Red Gate” is written on the head of the Feiyun Loft. The west courtyard is Taoist temple, used for enshrining the Goddess of Mount Tai, named Bixia (name of Goddess, means as beautiful as azure cloud) and is Yuanjun (the highest title of Taoists) temple. The east courtyard is "Maitreya’s Courtyard", enshrining Maitreya.
5. Zuixin Stone
  Getting out of the Red Gate Palace in north direction, there is a special landscape in Mount Tai which are rare in the world----Zuixin Stone, and they are many large and small, cylindrical stones, and recline at the bottom of the valley with its academic name “swirled pillar structure of allgovite ”. From the cross section, we can see stone core in the center. Around the core, it cracks to the outside. This peculiar form of rock, has already attracted the interest of the ancient people. The scholar Mei Sheng in Han Dynasty called it "Stone penetrated by fluid on Mount Tai", commonly known as Heishibu (black stones Pier), rarely seen in the world. Moreover, one people sculpted “Zuixin” at the cross section of the stone, which is the exposure of the ancients who felt marvelous at the nature’s mystery. It is hard to explain how they were formed, but it attracts more and more travelers and scholars. Here curved valley, clear stream, green grass and flourishing vines, are enjoyable and make people so engage in as to forget to back.

6. Ten Thousand Immortals Tower
  Ten Thousand Immortals Tower, a cross-road-built attic, locates on the North of the Red Gate Palace. It is formerly called “Tower for Watching Fairies” and was built at Ming Dynasty (1620). It is used to worship the wife of Jade Emperor at first, but changed to worship “Yuanjun Bixia” later. The title of the north gate is “thanksgiving place”. It is said that the emperor climbs the Mount Tai, the local official see him off here, and the emperor orders them to go back; they thank him here. There is another version: the pilgrims returned here, they kowtowed and thanked the Goddess of Mount Tai, 63 steles with titles of Buddhist devotees in Ming and Qing Dynasty were set around the building, and at southeast, there is a cave named “Yinzhen Cave”.
7. Sutra Rock Valley
   Sutra Rock Valley locates on the northeast of Doumu(mother of immortal dipper) Palace, a little fork in the road can lead you there through Shuyu Bridge, Mountain Stream Pavilion and Shenling (listened by deities) Bridge. There is stone plain of gentle slope in valley, which engraved "Diamond Sutra" in clerical script, commonly known as the stone for basking sutra. It was curved with “Sutra Sunning Stone”.
The Diamond Sutra carved on Sutra Rock Valley, locating on the northeast of Doumu Palace, is China's existing largest petroglyph carved with sutra.

8. Doumu Palace
Doumu Palace, the ancient name is "Longquan Temple", locating on the north of the Ten Thousand Immortals Tower. There is no record for when it is built, but it is rebuilt and renamed as “Doumu Palace” in twenty-first year (1542) in the reign of Emperor Jiaqing in Ming dynasty. Firstly this was a Taoist temple, but it changed to be nun abbot in the early years of Kangxi Emperor’s reign (1661-1722) in Qing dynasty. There are dozens of halls, pavilions and porches respectively in the three gates’ courtyards, with proper layout density, and look grandeur and grace. In the East, there are 3 listening- spring-Gardens viewing “The Waterfalls between the Three Pools ". Many mountains, deep gullys, views like painted, green glazed tiles, red walls, all make you intoxicated here, together with temple bell, and the Doumu Palace is a famous place for listening springs, viewing falls and tasting tea.

9. Zhongtian Gate
   Zhongtian Gate is converge of the east road and west road for climbing Mount Tai, so it is an indispensable place. Zhongtian Gate is a lane with two- pillar, single- door and was built during Qing dynasty. In ancient time, there were many tigers on Mount Tai, people worship black tiger God in North Square, but now there is the sculpture of the God of Wealth Marshal Zhao who sits on the back of a tiger with a whip in his hand. In the east of the Zhongtian Gate is antique style tea house, the southwest is Zhongxi Hotel, and Northwest is cable trolley station for the Zhongtian Gate. Zhongtian Gate is on the back of the Huangxian Mountain, 847 meters above sea level. Huangxian mountain is named by its yellow soil, and the east of it is Zhongxi Mountain. In 1989 Chen Yingjie dominated to built Chi’en Pavilion (kind and favor pavilion) with Penghu stone (donated by compatriots in Taiwan) in it in order to wish Taiwan could return to Chinese mainland as early as possible.
   The Mountain in the north side was Dongxi (east and west) mountain, commonly known as Dazhigou, which is the east way to climb Mount Tai in ancient time, but it is not used later. In Zhongtian Gate, we can see high mountains, broad valley, and surrounded by many pavilions. In the East, Zhongxi Mountain in there is steep and pretty for watching sunrise and sunset glow; In the West, serpentine Phoenix Mountain is proper for overlooking Aolai Mountain’s majestic appearance, and the general view of the new city. Standing here to lookup, you will see the lofty mountains, many mountains stand together, prosperous forests and bright springs, plus people in the cable car; what a beautiful view.

10. Five Gentlemen pines
   It lies on the north of Cloud Step Bridge, near the Five-pine Pavilion. After finishing serpentine paths, you will find a rock standing awesomely with inscription saying “Five Gentlemen pines”. In the west of the rock stands pine of old age named Qin Pine. The site” Qin Pine straightens gracefully” is one of eight tourism sites of Tai’an.
As per Shih Chi, Emperor Qin climbed on the Mount Tai and came cross the shower on halfway. He sheltered himself under a big tree from rain. The emperor appreciated the tree and offered the rank of nobility “Five Gentlemen” to it. The off springs mistook the name as five trees. In Ming dynasty, the pines were destroyed by thunderstorm. In Qing dynasty, the imperial envoy named Ding Zao planted 5 pine trees when he accepted the task of restoring Mount Tai. And now there are only 2 left, the 2 pine trees strench the branches in a bend and vigorous way. They have been well known as Qin pine straightens gracefully since ancient times. It is one of eight sites in Tai’an. Near the pavilion, there is a copy of inscription intoning “five Gentlemen pine trees” written by Emperor Qianlong.
11. Guest Welcoming Pine
   Guest welcoming pine is one of the representative landscapes of Mount Tai, standing proudly on the cliff outside of the Five Pine Pavilion. It is 8 meters high with a huge crown. A long stick sags down running out to the winding road, looks like a tender girl who wave her arms to welcome the visitors; therefore, it is known as the "guest greeting pine". The crown canopy seems to have a great wish to fly off the valley Although it is more than 500 years old, it is still vigorous and a marvelous spectacle of Mount Tai.

12. Two opposite pines’ Mountain
   Two opposite pines’ Mountain lies on the north of Chaoyang Cave, its two peaks confronting each other, thousands of age-old pines, dark green and gloomy, layer upon layer, also named Myriad Mount, Pine Sea. Clouds coming out of it, nature wind rashly blowing, as if the dragon fluttering and intonating, billows of pines stirring, all these could be thought marvelous spectacle. Poet Li Bai in Tang Dynasty poetized it as “Tall pines towering through the sea of the clouds, they become only few feet from far”. And Emperor Qianlong commended as that “Two opposite pines are the miracle in all the landscapes of Mount Tai”

13. Eighteen Mountain Bends
   Mount Tai’s Eighteen Mountain Bends, the most dangerous part for mountaineering, has over 1600 steps of stairs, considered as one of the main symbols of Mount Tai. Here two hills-cliffs appear to be cut, with a steep set mosaic in, from afar, as if the heaven-door ladder. The magnificent of Mount Tai, all in the Eighteen Mountain Bends; the sublime of it, all in climbing! Eighteen Mountain Bends lies on the north of Pine mountain and above the High Mountain and clipped by two cliffs, formerly known as the Cloud Gate, now as Open Mountains, constructed during the reconstruction of winding path in the period of Qing Dynasty, Emperor Qianlong Year. Thus, Eighteen Mountain Bends have been existed since then. And to its north that is Longmen (Imperial Gate), the old Longmen Square once was there, but ruined later on. On the west rock, Wei Xiang, lived in the period of Emperor Daoguang ,carved large letters of "Longmen" in cursive style .The east of the site named Large Dragon Valley, the waters in the rainy season all flow together to the gap, as if fountain pouring. In the front, there is new whirl-about road entry. In the year Wanli of Ming Dynasty, the political member Lv Kun built the crossing bridge and new whirl-about road in the above of Large Dragon Valley. The path directly reaches Nantian Gate near to Bixia Temple, which makes climbing Mount Tai quite easy. However the bridge and the whirl-about path were both destroyed in the reign period of Emperor Qianlong in Qing Dynasty.
In the North of the new whirl-about path entry steeply stand two mountains; the east one called Flying dragon Rock and the west one called Flying Phoenix Ridge. In the middle, only a thin slat of light can be seen, it named Stone-wall Valley. Above the valley is Nantian Gate upside and the Arch to Turning into Immortals downside; they are connected by the 18 Mountain Bends. Nantian Gate which lies just in the valley entry is the model of Mount Tai’s old buildings and making full use of the geographical environment, highlighting and beautifying the natural landscape by power of artificial, also is one of the key markers of Mount Tai. Looking up the gate, the steep whirl-path seems like an inverted cloud ladder. On both sides of the Stone-wall Valley, "long shouting at the gate", "layer-cliff and empty valley" , "heaven-gate cloudy ladders", " ascending to firmament boundary", etc were engraved. There are 3 sections of 18 Mountain Bends, respectively "Slow 18" from the Open Mountain to Dragon Gate, "Leisure-18” reaching to Divinity Square, and then "Tight 18" getting to Nantian Gate, totaling up more than 1630 steps. A huge rock appends on the west cliff of "Tight 18", whose silhouette looks like a Buddha, leaning his head, having a high nose and bald calvaria, and smiling kindly; thus it was called Welcoming-guests Buddha.

 
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