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Tengwang Pavilion

Tengwang Pavilion, also known as the Pavilion of Prince Teng, is located on the east shore of the Gan River, northwest of Nanchang City. It is one of the Four Great Towers of ancient China together with Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan, Yueyang Pavilion (Yueyang Lou) in Yueyang and Pengliage Pavilion in Yantai. It has been damaged and reconstructed many times during its 1,300 year long history. The extant building was rebuilt between 1983 and 1989 on the original site.

Tengwang Pavilion was first constructed in 653 AD by Li Yuangying, the younger brother of the emperor Taizong, in the Tang Dyansty (618-907). Li Yuanying was knighted as Prince Teng in 639 and lived in Suzhou in his early years. Then he was appointed the governorship of Nanchang where the pavilion served as his townhouse. Therefore, the pavilion was named after him, Pavilion of Prince Teng. The reputation of the Tengwang Pavilion, to a great extent, is due to the famous prose "Preface to the Tengwang Pavilion" by Wang Bo, a gifted and reputable poet of the Tang Dynasty. The prose made the Tengwang Pavilion a household name in China. It was endowed with almost legendary status as an example of magnificent architecture and it is still admired in this vein today.

Over the centuries, the Tengwang Pavilion has been destroyed and reconstructed almost 30 times. In 1926, tragedy struck when the pavilion was totally destroyed by fire during that period's tangled warfare among warlords.

The existing Tengwang Pavilion was finished in October 1989, more magnificent and spectacular than the original one, and it became a landmark of the Nanchang City. Its structure was made from reinforced concrete but it was built in the architectural style of the Song Dynasty. The Pavilion is reached by a zigzag bridge and is circled by rock gardens and lakes. The main building of the pavilion is 57.5 metres tall with nine storeys, occupying an area of 47,000 square metres. There are two smaller towers standing on the north and south sides of the principal building. The charm of the pavilion is in the green tiles and the up-turned double eaves. Moreover, there are great collections of musical instruments, religious ornaments, bronze sacrifice ornaments, and series bells which reflect the true classical elegance of the new pavilion.
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