Yellow Crane Tower, located on Snake Hill in Wuchang, is one of the “Three Famous Towers South of Yangtze River (the other two: Yueyang Tower in Hunan and Tengwang Tower in Jiangxi).
Legend has it that in Wuchang, there used to be a wine shop opened by a young man named Xin. One day, a Taoist priest in gratitude for free wine, drew a magic crane on the wall of the shop and instructed it to dance whenever it heard clapping. Thousands of people came to see the spectacle and the wine shop was always full of guests. After 10 years, the Taoist priest revisited the wine shop. He played the flute and then rode on the crane to the sky. In memory of the supernatural encounter and the priest, the Xins built a tower and named it Yellow Crane Tower.
According to records, the tower was first built in 223 A.D during the Three Kingdoms period (220-280). After completion, the tower served as a gathering place for celebrities and poets for parties and to compose poetry. It was estimated that up to the Tongzhi Reign of the Qing dynasty, as many as 300 poems about the tower had been found in historical literature. Cui Hao, a famous poet during the Tang dynasty (618-907), made the tower well known throughout China with his poem “Yellow Crane Tower”.
Destroyed many times in successing dynasties, the tower was rebuilt time and again until 100 years ago when it was reduced to ashes for the last time. The present tower is a complete reconstruction and is the result of four years of work beginning in 1981. The old tower was only 15 meters wide, where the ground floor of the new structure was increased to 20 meters wide. The tower, 51.4 meters high, is five-storied with yellow tiles and red pillars, overlapping ridges and interlocking eaves, more magnificent than the old one. The new Yellow Crane Tower is regarded as the symbol of Wuhan city.