Huamen Gateway (华门 - Huámen)

Rem Sapozhnikov / April 2014
Huamen is the first Gateway of the Celestial Empire and the main tourist attraction in Linfen City. Here you can find a museum narrating the history of five-thousand-year-old Chinese Civilization, of its great people and their achievements, as well as of its mythological figures.

The erection of the museum was launched in 2002 not far from Emperor Yao Temple and completed in 2004.
Three doors within the Gateway symbolize three Emperors: Yao, Shun and Yu (尧 - Yáo, 舜 - Shùn, 禹 - Yǔ).
Entrance ticket, price 40 yuan.
The sign plate states that it is the biggest gateway in the world (with its height of 50 m) and the first monument dedicated to Chinese Civilization.
The first Gateway of the Celestial Empire (天下第一门 - Tiānxià dì yī mén).
Its central door is the highest in the world with its height of 18 meters.
Museum Map.
1 floor – The hall “China” (中华大厅 - Zhōnghuá dàtīng)
2 floor – The viewpoint overlooking the hall “China” (观景台 - Guānjǐngtái)
3 floor – The hall dedicated to the Universe /Heaven and Earth/ (乾坤大厅 - Qiánkūn dàtīng)
4 floor – The hall dedicated to heroic women (巾帼大厅 - Jīnguódàtīng)
5 floor (the last one) (顶层 - Dǐngcéng) – The gateway to the Hall of Forefathers (门祖阁 - Ménzǔgé)

Almost each element inside and outside of the Gateway symbolizes something.
You have to be a pretty experienced sinologist to understand everything around.
Figures of Chinese mythology:
Shùn (舜), Yáo (尧), Fúxī (伏羲), Sui Ren (遂人), Nüwa (女娲), Yandi /Flame Emperor/ (炎帝), Huangdi /Yellow Emperor/ (黄帝).
1. Han Feizi (韩非子), the greatest Legalist (288 — 233 B.C.);
2. Xunzi (荀子), Chinese sophist within Confucian tradition (313 — 238 B.C.);
3. Mozi (墨子), ancient Chinese philosopher, opponent of Confucianism, developed the Doctrine of Universal Love (470 — 391 B.C.);
4. Laozi (老子), philosopher, well-known for his utterances and aphorisms (604 — 531 B.C.);
5. Confucius (孔子), thinker and philosopher (551 — 479 B.C.);
6. Mencius (孟子), Chinese philosopher and thinker, one of the most ambitious successors of Confucius (372 — 289 B.C.);
7. Sun Zi (孙子), thinker, the author of “Art of War”, the treatise on military strategy and politics (544 — 496 B.C.).
1. Tudishen (土地山神) — Earth God;
2. Guan Gong (关公) — God of War;
3. Mazu (妈祖) — Goddess of the sea, she protects sailors;
4. Yudi (玉皇大帝) — Jade Emperor, supreme deity of Taoism (aka Yu Huang Dadi);
5. Songzi Niangniang (送子娘娘) — Fertility Goddess and patron of children;
6. Longwang (龙王) — Dragon King, the ruler of the water element;
7. Cai Shen (财神) — God of prosperity.
The viewpoint overlooking the hall “China”.
The hall on the third floor. The Chariot of Qin Dynasty period. The hemisphere in the background shows the borders of China changing in the times of different dynasties.
32 bronze sculptures of the great Chinese who made significant contribution to Chinese civilization are located in the corners of the hall (8 sculptures in each corner). Famous inventors, philosophers, artists, diplomats, rulers and others are among them. The photo shows one of these compositions.

On the left there are the statues of the four founders of scientific studies (四大科技先圣 - Sì dà kējì xiānshèng).
1. Confucius (孔子 - Kǒngzǐ), world-famous Chinese philosopher (551 - 479 B.C.);
2. Sun Zi (孙子 - Sūnzǐ), author of “Art of War”, the famous treatise on military strategy (544 – 496 B.C.);
3. Qu Yuan (屈原 - Qū Yuán), Chinese poet (340 - 278 B.C.);
4. Sima Qian (司马迁 - Sīmǎ Qiān), considered being an originator of Chinese historiography (139 – 86 B.C.).

To the right of the learned scholars there are four statues of folk craftsmen (四大民生巨匠 - Sì dà mínshēng jùjiàng).
1. Lu Ban (鲁班 - Lǔ Bān), engineer, philosopher, inventor. He became a deified patron of Chinese craftsmen and builders (507 - 440 B.C.);
2. Jiasixie (贾思勰 - Jiǎsīxié), scientist of the Northern Wei Dynasty period, author of one of the oldest fundamental works on agriculture (about 544 A.D.);
3. Huang Daopo (黄道婆 - Huáng Dàopó). The indigenous people of Li on Hainan Island disclosed her the secret of cotton fabrics production, and she spread it through China (1245 - 1330 A.D.);
4. Li Shizhen (李时珍 - Lǐ Shízhēn), Chinese physician and pharmacologist. For 27 years he wrote “Treatise on Roots and Herbs” in 52 volumes (1518 - 1593 A.D.).
The fourth floor is dedicated to famous women in Chinese history. The opening of the hall in 2010 was coincided with the 100th anniversary of the International Day of Women Solidarity in the struggle for economic, social and political equality (March 8). In the same manner as on the third floor, there are 32 statues set in the corners of the hall and separated into groups of four statues.
Chinese characters 忠孝 [zhōng-xiào] can be translated as “allegiancy” (to the ruler) and filial piety (towards parents). The first four statues are dedicated to women known for these virtues (四大忠孝贤女).
1. Mother of the philosopher Mencius (孟母);
2. Ti Ying, courageous daughter who saved her father (缇萦);
3. Empress Zhangsun (长孙皇后);
4. Mother of the national hero Yue Fei (岳母).
On the left there are four women representing the period of the formation of Chinese civilization (四大文明祖女).
On the right there are four statues of female rulers (四大掌国权女).
1. Empress Lu Zhi (吕后);
2. Wu Zetian (武则天), concubine of the Celestial Emperor Taizong, but she actually ruled China for forty years;
3. Empress Xiao (萧太后);
4. Empress Cixi (慈禧太后).
Goddess Nüwa (女娲 - nǚwā), the foremother of the Chinese, is located in the center.
To the right of Nüwa and in the background you can see a panel picture with hieroglyphs. It depicts complex characters including the character (nǚ) – “woman”. Next, I offer a list of words from the top row: (fù) – married woman, wife; (tā) – she, her; (nǎi) – breast, milk; (mā) – mom, mother; (niáng) – girl, young woman;
The hall on the fifth floor.
Menshen (门神 - Ménshén) – two brothers Shenshu (神荼 - Shénshū) and Yulu (郁垒 - Yùlǜ), , who became Gods guarding the entrance to houses and protecting it from evil spirits.
Youchao Shi (有巢氏 - Yǒucháo Shì). In the Liji (“Record of Rites”) he is called the first Chinese ruler.
Observation deck.
View to the north.
View to the west.

Continuation :
Iron Buddha Head Temple

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