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Three Visitors Cave

Three Visitors Cave

Leaving the Xiling Gorge of Three Gorges and cruise east of the Yangtze River, you will find Three Visitors Cave on the north shore of the river.

Three Visitors Cave is located 7 kilometers northwest of Yichang. It is a giant cave on the north peak of the Xiling Mountain. It leans against Xiling Gorge and faces to the Xialao Stream where the caves hold marvelous different sight and the scenery is beautiful. It is a famous scenic spot and historical resort and one of the key cultural relic preservation units of Hubei Province.

History of Three Visitors Cave

Three Visitors Cave is situated in a deep valley. It is warm in winter and cool in summer with great and beautiful views. The cave is about 30 meters deep, 23 meters in width and is about 9 meters high. The cave got its name after the visit of the three most famous poets during Tang Dynasty, Bai Juyi, Bai Xingjian and Yuan Zhen. Legends goes that the three poets paid a visit to this cave and inspired by its unique scenery, they each wrote a poem on the cliff of the cave. And an article, San You Dong Xu (Preface of Three Visitors Cave), was written on the cliff by Bai Juyi. These three poets are "the first three visitors". And during the Song Dynasty, three famous writers, Su Xun, Su Shi and Su Zhe, visited Three Visitors Cave together, and each wrote a poem on the cliff. People called them "the latter three visitors". (More Details)

Sceneries of Three Visitors Cave

The scenery of Three Visitors Cave is lovely and was once reputed as "the fairyland" by ancient people. It attracted many people who went by Yichang in history. They expressed their feelings and praise the fantastic cave scenery by writing poems, essays, or by painting, and engraved on the cliff. Up to now, more than 40 epigraphs inside or outside the cave are well preserved. The inscriptions range from regular script, clerical script, seal character, running script, cursive hand, covering all the forms of Chinese characters. It is no wonder that Three Visitors Cave is renowned as living museum of Chinese calligraphy.

Three Visitors Cave is in the sheer cliff and is cool in summer and warm in winter. The inside of the cave is broad in the shape of an irregular rectangle. The cave is 30 meters in depth, 23 meters in width and 9 meters in height and was formed by erosion from the water against the rocks for centuries. The rocks in the cave take a great variety of shapes. And there are three main stalagmites which divide the cave into two chambers.

The front chamber is wide and bright, along the walls there are more than 40 stone tablets. The tablets caved with poems and prose made from the famous poets when they visit this area. The other chamber is gloomy and deep. It is in shape of a hanging bell. If you throw a rock at the top cliff of it, you will hear the echo sound of a bell, yet when the rock falls onto the ground you will hear the echo sound of a drum.

Near the cave entrance, a small path leads to the top of the mountain where Zhixi Pavilion is located. Travelers can gain majesty scenery of the mighty Yangtze River surge among high mountains.

And in the mountainside, there is a spring called Lu You Spring. It is named after the famous poets Lu You, a great poets during Southern Song Dynasty, used the water to make tea which makes him feel good, and write a poem on the nearby rock.