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Huaqing Pool, Xian Tour Attraction

Xian Huaqing Pool is located at the northern foot of Mt. Lishan in Lindong County of Shaanxi Province, about 30 kilometers from Xian. It is recorded that as early as the Dynasties of Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui and Tang, temporary imperial living place was built here. In the 6th year of Emperor Xuanzong Reign in the Tang Dynasty(747) it was widened on a massive scale by making the hot springs into bathing pools, surrounding the Mount with palace buildings, which were to be protected by an outerround defensive wall and renamed it Huaqing Palace. As the palace was constructed upon the hot springs, it was also called Huaqing Hot Spring Pools.

Legend has it that the pools were fully established here in the Qing dynasty. The most romantic story that accompanies the history of the springs is that of the Chinese equivalent of Romeo and Juliet; the story of the Emperor Xuan Zong and his concubine Yang Guifei. Yang was a poor girl who the Emperor took a fancy to and promoted to the position of "lady". Legend has it that he was so enamoured by her beauty that it distracted him from his daily work. The Empire was being threatened and the courtiers threatened to kill the concubine, blaming her for the Emperor's mismanagement of his nation. Desperate and madly in love, Yang hung herself to save the country and her lover's name.The springs were renamed the Huaqing or "The Fair" springs, in honor of Yang Guifei's beauty.

There are numerous classical style buildings at the site and many frescoes decorate the walls here. It is usually very busy, as the story of Yang Guefei is very popular with the Chinese. Today, visitors can bathe in the 43 degree C water. There is a "Hot Springs Bathhouse" which is rather like a private bathroom in a five star hotel. More atmospheric and cheaper too is the communal bathhouse.

Edited by Athena Lee

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