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Huaqing Hot Springs

Huaqing Pool


The Huaqing Pool is a place tourists shouldn't miss in Xi'an. It was build at the foot of Li Mountain, 30 kilometers east of Xi'an city.

The Huaqing Pool has a long history. More than 3000 years ago, King You in the Western Zhou dynasty built his palace at the foot of the mountain which was called Li Palace.

Later on in the Qin dynasty, Emperor Qin Shihuang angried a fairy lady here. In order to punish him, the fairy lady made the Emperor suffer from having sores on his face. Emperor Qingshihuang was overcome with regret of what he had done and asked the fairy lady to forgive him. Seeing the Emperor had known his mistake, the fairy lady used the hotspring water from the Li Mountain washed his sore and he got recovered soon. On the purpose of showing his thanks to the fairy lady, Emperor Qing Shihuang built a stone pool here and named it “Pool of Fairy Lady”.

In the Han dynasty, Emperor Wudi built a bigger temporary palace on the hotsprings. But the most prosperous period of the Huaqing Pool was in the Tang dynasty. From 742A.D. to 756A.D. more luxious palaces was built here by Emperor Xuanzong in the Tang dyansty, big bath pools were made for the imperial family to use and a walled palace around Li Mountain was built and the whole complex was called Huaqing Palace.  

The original Huaqing Palace was a huge palace compound and they had disappeared in the warring period in the latter Tang dynasty. The scenery site today is only a small part of the original one. Most of the buildings were rebuilt on the site of the Qing dynasty construction, it covers an area of 85,560 square meters.

The Huaqing Pool is famous for two stories happened in Chinese history. The story of “ A single smile costs 1000 pieces gold” and the love story between Emperor Xuanzong and his favorite Lady Yang.

Located on Xixiu Ridge of Lishan Mountain, the remains of the Beacon Tower of the western Zhou Dynasty are easily identified. The Beacon Tower was built at the top of the mountain to give an alarm of border attacks in ancient times. It was constantly manned by special guards. Once the enemy neared the border, a signal from the Beacon Tower would be sent. It is said that in the Western Zhou Dynasty, on the peak of every mountain a beacon tower was built. Whenever the enemy came, the soldiers would send signals by burning wolf’s droppings to seek help from other dukes. Why were wolf’s droppings used? It is said that when wolf's droppings were burnt, the smoke went straight up to the sky, and people could see it from a far distance. King You of the Western Zhou Dynasty had a palace built at Huaqing Pool, and a beacon tower on top of Lishan Mountain. The king had a favorite concubine named Baosi. Althought she was very beautiful, she always wore a sad face and never smiled. King You left no stone unturned to make her happy, but in vain. So the king became very much worried. One day, one of his ministers suggested that the beacon be lit to make fun of other dukes to help make Baosi smile. Sure enough the trick worked very well. At the sight of the signal, the soldiers of other dukes hurried to the foot of lishan Mountain. They were wet through with sweat and out of breath, but found themselves deceived and dismayed. Baosi was amused to see them distressed and gave a cold smile. The king was delighted and awarded 1,000 pieces of gold to the minister who put forward the idea. Later the joke was repeated several times but the day came when a real danger threatened him. King You had the beacon fire lit again, but the dukes thought that the king was playing the same trick again to please his concubine. No one came to his rescue. The Western Zhou Dynasty was overthrown, and the king was killed. Hence the Chinese saying “A single smile costs 1,000 pieces of gold” and “the Sovereign rulers are fooled by the beacon fire.”

According to historical record, from 745A.D. to 755A.D., Emperor Xuanzong in the Tang dynasty came to Huaqing Palace each year to spend his winter time with his concubines and close ministers. They stayed in the Huaqing Palace during the cold winter and returned to Chang’an until the next spring came. During their stay, all the national affairs would be discussed at the Huaqing Palace, and it became the temporary political center in the Tang dynasty.

Lady Yang was regarded as one of the four most beautiful women in Chinese history. Her name was Yang Yuhuan and she was the daughter-in-law of Emperor Xuanzong. After Xuanzong's favorite concubine passed away, he was upset everyday. In order to make him happy, Prince Li Heng, Lady Yang’s husband, invited his father Xuanzong to watch dancing performance in his own palace. Lady Yang was good at dancing so she danced with other dancers for the Emperor. After seeing Lady Yang for the first sight, Emperor Xuanzong fall in love with her immediately. But she was the daught-in-law of him, how could he marry her? With this problem in his mind, the Emperor don’t want to take any food and couldn’t fall asleep. At this time, an eunuch told the Emperor: “you can send her to a temple to be a nun for 3 years and then take her back to the society again. In her new life, you can marry her and nobody would say anything.” The Emperor followed his idea and finally married with Lady Yang and gave her a title “Imperial Concubine.” The Emperor and Imperial Concubine Yang loved each other deeply and they spent a good time in the Huaqing Palace until 755A.D. In 755 A.D., An-lushan and Shi-Siming led their rebellion troop to Chang’an, the capital of the Tang Dynasty. The Emperor was afraid of being caught and killed so he took Concubine Yang and her sisters escaped from the capital city. When they arrived at Maweipo, the Emperor's soldiers were angry and they thought it was all Concubine Yang’s fault to made the Emperor forgot his responsibility to his people and the country. So they asked the Emperor to kill Concubine Yang, otherwise they won't protect him. Under this situation, the Emperor had no choice but let his Concubine committed suicide with tears in his eyes. Later, with help from his ministers, the Emperor repressed the rebellion and returned to his imperial palace, but his women had gone for ever. He felt the life is nothing for him so he passed his thrown to his son and died soon with his memory of Concubine Yang.

There are sources of four hot springs in Huaqing Palace, they have a flow of 112 tons an hour with a constant temperature of 43 degrees Celsius. The spring water contains lime, sodium carbonate, sodium sulphate and other minerals, which makes it suitable for bathing and treatment of many diseases such as dermatosis, rheumatism, arthritis and muscular pain. The source of the spring water at the xia Pavilion was discovered some 3,000 years ago, in the Western Zhou Dynasty. Its water flow average 25 tons per hour.

Today, the Huaqing Palace becomes a popular scenic spot for not only Chinese tourists but also foreign tourists. People here believe that you will be more beautiful if you use the hot spring water to wash you face. Why don't you come and try? (by Dang Xiaogang)



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Attractions of Xian

  1. Foping Nature Reserve for Giant Pandas
  2. Xian Ox Culture and Ceramics Museum
  3. North Square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda
  4. Changqing Nature Reserve
  5. Tang Dynasty Dinner and Show
  6. Chenlu Ancient Town
  7. Maoxian
  8. Xian
  9. Zhaoling Mausoleum
  10. Yong Le Gong Temple
  11. Qianling Mausoleum
  12. Mausoleum of Yellow Emperor
  13. Han Yangling Mausoleum
  14. Shaanxi Foping National Reserve
  15. Famen Temple
  16. Xian Ancient City Wall
  17. Shaanxi History Museum-II
  18. Bell & Drum Towers
  19. Banpo Museum
  20. Qin Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses
  21. Shaanxi Grand Theater
  22. Peasant Painting Exhibition Hall in Huxian
  23. Huxian Farmer's painting
  24. Tang Dynasty Art Museum
  25. Great Mosque
  26. Hui Nationality
  27. Islamic Religion
  28. Qianling Mausoleum
  29. Hukou Waterfalls
  30. Yan'an Pagoda
  31. Shaanxi Delicacy
  32. City God Temple in Sanyuan
  33. Xingqing Palace
  34. Daming Palace
  35. Blue Dragon Temple
  36. Feiyuan Museum
  37. Mount Hua
  38. Shaanxi History Museum
  39. Anwu Village
  40. Welcome Ceremony at the Ancient City Wall
  41. Luoguantai Shrine
  42. Han Maoling Mausoleum
  43. Han Yangling Tomb
  44. Yao Zhou Kiln Museum
  45. Qujiang Pool
  46. Xian Museum
  47. Xian High Tech Industries Development Zone
  48. The Silk Road
  49. Small Wild Goose Pagoda
  50. Forest of Stone Tablets
  51. Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shihuangdi
  52. Xianyang
  53. Fuping Ceramic Art Village and Fule International Ceramic Art Museum
  54. Huaqing Hot Springs
  55. Banpo Village Museum
  56. Han Changling Mausoleum
  57. Big Wild Goose Pagoda
  58. Daming Palace National Heritage Park
  59. All Day Mall of the Great Tang Dynasty
  60. International Horticulture Exposition 2011 Xian
  61. Drum Tower
  62. Bell Tower
  63. Xingjiao Temple
  64. Bell Tower
  65. Mt.Hua
  66. Pit No.3 of Terra Cotta Army
  67. Pit No.2 of Terra Cotta Army
  68. Pit No.1 of Terra Cotta Army
  69. Dim Sum Delicacy
  70. Tomb of Princess Yongtai
  71. Bronze Chariots and Horses
  72. Tang Paradise

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