Yangquan - Eshanxi
Guanshan Mountain: A Cultural and Academic Attraction
Time: 01 15,2020      Source: Friends Shanxi

Situated in the east side of central Shanxi and among parts of the Taihang Mountain, Pingding County has been the key-junction area between Shanxi Province and Hebei Province down the ages, and hailed as “East Gate of Shanxi.” 120km west of Taiyuan City and 120km east of Shijiazhuang City, the county enjoys easy access: both No. 207 National Highway and Yangquan-Shexian Railway go down through it; No. 307 National Highway, Taiyuan-Jiuguan Expressway and Shijiazhuang-Taiyuan Railway have east-west passages through it. Pingding County is at the doorstep to quite a few tourist sights: 50km to the east, we have Cangyan Mountain and Baoduzhai Mountain of Hebei; 80km to the west, we have Pingyao Ancient Town and residential compounds of Shanxi Merchants; 40km to the south, we have Dazhai Village, and the site for Headquarters of Eighth Route Army in Matian Township, Zuoquan County; and 50km to the north, we have Cangshan Mountain and Wutai Mountain. With these and other vicinities, Pingding boasts the advantage of a cluster of scenic sites at its fingertips.

Guanshan Mountain in Pingding County is a cultural and legendary zone in eastern Shanxi, being 4km to the southwest of Pingding County Seat and 9km to Yangquan City. It’s so named as its primary mount looks like a crown. The mountain, with an area of around 3.86 square miles, peaks at an elevation of 1,125.6 meters. Guanshan Mountain is a national A-class tourist attraction, a Shanxi provincial forest park and a provincial cultural heritage site. It boasts the followings: Chonggu Guanshan Academy, Huaiyin Academy, Fuzi Cave, Cave for Valuing Book, Wenchang Pavilion, Cave for Study, Pavilion for Admiring Sage, Fengzhou Pavilion, Wen Xian Ming Bang Memorial Gateway, Temple for Blessing, Cave for Worshipping Lv Dongbin, Temple of Zhenwu Emperor, Xingxue Pavilion, calligraphy steles written by celebrities and sublime ancient trees, etc. Boasting the Confucianist, Taoist and Buddhist cultures, Guanshan Mountain is dominated by Confucianist culture: every necessary Buddhist facility is available, with Guanshan Academy as the exemplar. Since Song and Yuan dynasties, there have existed quite a few academies, including Guanshan Jingshe Academy, Lv Sicheng Academy, Guanshan Academy, Famed Sages Academy, Gaoling Academy, Chonggu  Guanshan Academy and Huaiyin Academy. 

There are also quite a few educational facilities affiliated with and matching the academies, like Cave for Valuing Book, Pool for Burning Book, Fuzi Cave, Platform for Reading Book, Cave for Study, Wenchang Pavilion, etc. In the 21st year of the reign under Emperor Jiaqing of Qing Dynasty, when Guanshan Academy were restored, the inscription on the Restoration Monument said that academies relatively famed across China at that time included Yishan Academy in Changzhou of Jiangsu, Qishan Academy in Chizhou of Anhui and Nishan Academy in Qufu of Shandong. “…In Taiyuan, only Guanshan Academy stood out.” According to the historical record, the academy can be traced back to the years of Xuanhe in Northern Song, reaching its prime in Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties and cultivating many talents, notably like Lv Sicheng, Senior Councilor of Executive Secretariat in Yuan Dynasty; Qiao Yu, Minister of War, Minister of Personnel and Minister of Rites in Ming Dynasty; Dou Bin, Governor of Guangdong and Guangxi in Qing Dynasty; and Peking-renowned talented woman Shi Pingmei in modern China. Guanshan Mountain is legendary thanks to its relevant figures and cultural booms. It has attracted such figures as Fu Shan, a leading thinker at Ming and Qing dynasties; Zhang Peifang, a famed scholar in Qing Dynasty; and Zhang Mu, a renowned geographer with magnum opus - Notes of Mongolian Nomadic Life. They left many an inscription and anecdote across the mountain, which future generations have come to see, admire and commend.

Guanshan Academy feature great surroundings and is committed to cultivating talents down the ages. People are subject to its greatness and the place is bountifully rewarded: just a partial survey shows that in Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, Pingding County saw 131 people passing the Final National Imperial Examinations, 680 people succeeding in the Provincial Imperial Examinations, and 785 people graduating from the Imperial Academy in Peking. Therefore, Pingding is historically hailed as “a great-learning center (Wen Xian Ming Bang).” There is the following saying: there are two Ding (Pingding and Dingxiang County of Xinzhou City) with most boomed culture in Shanxi, and Pingding outsmarts the other one. A critical manifestation of Pingding culture can be found in Guanshan Mountain. Guanshan Mountain has beautiful scenes across the four seasons: in spring, we have flowers that are fragrant and birds that are chirping so happily, with springs of water streaming through caves and vales so excitedly; with summer coming, it’s a world of prosperous verdancy and attractive coolness; the autumn features frost-reddened leaves against the blue sky and tasty fruits lowering their branches more and more; way into winter, trees turn jady with snow embracing their branches. When the morning sun is on, the fluffy snow field gingerly puts on a touch of radiant rouge. Notably, the Post-Raining Guanshan, famed as one of the Pingding Scenic Octet, is so satisfying to the eye and so blissful to the heart. Guanshan Mountain, with its cultural and natural knitted into the essence of ancient splendidness and elegant scholasticality, is where tourists can’t wait to visit.

Yangquan - Eshanxi