Wuyi Mountain — Biodiversity Mountain and Mysterious Millennial Culture

Mount Wuyi or Wuyi Mountain in Fujian and Jiangxi Provinces of China
 

What Is Wuyi Mountain or Mount Wuyi?

 

Wuyi Mountain, also named Mount Wuyi, is a UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage Site, with rich biodiversity and beautiful scenic views. 

 

Meanwhile, it is a holy land of Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism, with valuable ancient buildings, ruins of an ancient city, and mysterious wooden boat coffins inserted on cliffs. 

Taoist Temple Zhizhi An of Mount Wuyi

Taoist Temple Zhizhi An of Mount Wuyi

 

Important Data

 

  • Wuyi Mountain is on the border of Fujian and Jiangxi Provinces, the southeast of China;

 

  • It is about 1000 square kilometers large;

 

  • The highest peak of the Wuyi Mountains is 2158 meters;

 

  • It has rich biological resources, with over 3728 vegetations and 5110 types of animals;

 

  • Wooden boat coffins on the cliffs dated back to over 3000 years ago;

 

  • There is a city relic from about 2200 years ago;

 

  • There are over 35 Confucian Academies and 60 Taoist Temples from the recent millennium.

Peaks of Mount Wuyi

Peaks of Wuyi Mountains.

 

What's Special with the Ancient Boat Coffins on Cliffs?

 

Dating back to 3750 to 3295 years ago, some boat-shaped coffins are laying on caves or stakes on the grand cliffs of Wuyi Mountain.

 

This was the burial form of ancient local Minyue Culture that was believed as a privilege of the nobles.  

One of the most significant mysteries is how those heavy coffins were placed on such high cliffs with ancient technology, which is still unclear.

Ancient Wooden Boat Coffins in the Cliffs of Mount Wuyi

Ancient Wooden Boat Coffins in the Cliffs.

As to the reasons for this special burial form, there are some speculations:

 

  • To show nobles' authority;

 

  • It's closer to the sky, which made it easier for their spirits to go to heaven;

 

  • Beautiful Wuyi Mountain was believed a holy place where deities live;

 

  • To protect their bodies from beasts and insects;

 

  • It relates to ancient bird worship;

 

  • The boat shape presents their water lifestyle or ancient witchcraft that could take the dead's spirit to the other side.  

 

History of the Two-millenary City Relics

 

At the foot of Mount Wuyi, there is a city remains of over 480,000 square meters large. 

 

This was the city of the King of Minyue, a vassal state built at the beginning of the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC — 8 AD). 

 

Decades later, a king rebelled and was defeated in the year 110 BC, when his state got perished by the army of the Emperor Wu of Han

 

Within this city ruins, tens of thousands of valuable relics were unearthed, including bronze wares, potteries, weapons, farm implements, bricks, tiles, etc.

 

Together, they are showing great archeological values of the Minyue culture in the early Western Han Dynasty. 

Eaves Tile Unearthed from this City Ruins

Eaves Tile Unearthed from this City Ruins — Minyue Imperial City Museum (Photo by Ding Liqing)

 

Important Cultural Sites

Wuyi Academy or Ziyang Academy

 

Built by great Neo-Confucianist Zhu Xi in the year 1183, where he taught and finished many of his masterpieces.  

 

Zhu Xi's Neo-Confucianism then became the dominant ideology in the following centuries, which made Mount Wuyi an influential place for Confucianism. 

The Wuyi Academy Built by Great Philosopher Zhu Xi

The Wuyi Academy Built by Great Philosopher Zhu Xi

Wuyi Gong or Huixian Guan

 

Firstly built between the year 742 to 755, this temple was the place to worship the Deity of Wuyi (Wuyi Jun) by emperors.

Wuyi Gong or Huixian Guan on Mount Wuyi

Wuyi Gong or Huixian Guan, Photo by Chanjuan.

Xiamei Ancient Dwellings

 

Xiamei is a village at the foot of Wuyi Mountain, which consists of well-preserved buildings of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 — 1912). 

 

Those ancient buildings and architectural decorations, including brick, stone, and wood carvings, contain extremely valuable information about the local inhabitants' history and culture.

Xiamei Ancient Dwellings at the foot of Mount Wuyi

Xiamei Ancient Dwellings at the foot of Wuyi Mountain.

Cliff Dwelling

 

Those big dwellings on the cliffs were believed shelters for people since the Song Dynasty (960 — 1279). 

 

The wooden components outside were supporting frames for their "Tianche", a type of wooden cart to transport people and their daily supplies up to the cliff. 

Ancient Cliff Dwelling of Mount Wuyi

Ancient Cliff Dwellings, Photo by Xiujian. 

Ancient Stone Inscriptions Throughout History

Ancient Stone Inscriptions of Mount Wuyi

Ancient Stone Inscriptions, Photo by Minghu Shuishan. 

 

Impressive Natural Scenic Views

Nine Bend River, or Jiuqu Xi of Mount Wuyi

Nine Bend River or Jiuqu Xi of Wuyi Mountain

Sunrise View of Mount Wuyi

Sunrise View

Peaks and Danxia Landform of Mount Wuyi

Peaks and Danxia Landform

Cloud Sea of Mount Wuyi

Seas of Cloud

Yixiantian Canyon of Mount Wuyi

One-Line-Sky or Yixiantian Canyon

Autumn of Mount Wuyi

Autumn View of Wuyi Mountains

Houyuan Villiage of Mount Wuyi

Houyuan Villiage, Photo by Wuying.