Yueyang Tower is one of the three most famous and historic towers in southern China. It stands on the western gate of the Yueyang city in Hunan Province, with Dongting Lake in the west and Yangtze River in the north. It has been viewed as the First Tower under Heaven.
The history of Yueyang Tower can date back to the period of Three Kingdoms (220~280). It is said that the tower was originally used for military purpose. Lu Su, the famous military commander of the period of Eastern Han Dynasty (25~220), had used it as an inspection tower to train his soldiers. Thousands of years, it has been a popular tourist destination and there left many articles and poems about the tower in history. The most famous one “Notes on Yueyang Tower” was written by Fan Zhongyan, an outstanding scholar in North Song Dynasty (960~1127). This article makes the tower even more famous.
Yueyang Tower was built in the Qing Dynasty (1636~1911). It not only possesses unique structure with three floors, four pillars, flying eaves but also owns helmet roof. This kind of top structure is unparalleled in the history of ancient Chinese architecture.
There spread a legend about the tower. The legend goes that, an official asked carpenter Li to design a wonderful tower in a month. When Li was worried about it, suddenly, a white-haired old man appeared and gave him some pieces of wood and then disappeared with a blast of wind. With those pieces of wood, Li finally designed a majestic tower model. That was the model for Yueyang Tower.