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Icon of Yan'an: Baota Mountain

By Li Hongrui ( chinadaily.com.cn ) Updated: 2016-04-04 12:09:30
Icon of Yan'an: Baota Mountain

The pagoda on Baota Mountain in Yan'an of Shaanxi province, April 3, 2016. [Photo by Li Hongrui/chinadaily.com.cn]

After climbing Baota Mountain for nearly 20 minutes, I finally saw a tall pagoda made of yellow grey bricks standing in front of my eyes.

The mountain is named after this tower, with "Baota" meaning "precious pagoda" in Chinese.

The mountain lies in the middle of Yan'an, which once served as one of the headquarters of the Communist Party of China in Shaanxi province. A panoramic view of Yan'an can be seen from the top of it.

It was originally named the "Fenglin Mountain", and had its name changed to "Jialing Mountain" in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). There is still an inscription of "Jialing Mountain" by Fan Zhongyan, a renowned military leader and writer in the Song Dynasty. The old tower was built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), and the present nine-floor one, 44 meters high, was restored in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

But the mountain holds more significance than meets the eye.

President Xi Jinping noted that the Baotao Mountain is the symbol of the Chinese Communist revolution in February 2015. The mountain bears the spirit of Yan'an formed during the revolution.

It has also been immortalized in poetry.

"Many times, I return to Yan'an in dreams, and hold my beloved Baota Mountain in my arms," a Chinese writer He Jingzhi said in his poem.

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