China Information

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Red Hill

Red Hill is a symbol of Urumqi, owing to its uniqueness. The mountain, of aubergine rock, is reddish brown, for which it gets the present name. The hill is 1.5km long and 1km wide from the east to the west.

Within 1km near, there is a Yamalike Hill facing the Red Hill. Legend goes that in the ancient times a red dragon fled from the Heavenly Lake, and later Heaven Empress caught and sliced him into harves with her sword. Later on, two hills formed, namely, the Yamalike Hill in the west and the Red Hill in the east. The sword turned into a Urumqi River. Oddly enough, topographic pictures show the two hills were once one and separated during a stratum rupture.

Interestingly, ancient legend affected the real life. In 1785 and 1786, floods destructively hit Urumqi. Rumors arose that the Red Hill and the Yamalike Hill were closer and closer to each other. Once they met, the Urumqi River between them would be blocked and the city would be flooded. Therefore, in 1788 Shang An, a highest military officer, ordered to build two zhen long (in Chinese, to subdue a dragon) pagodas on both hills. These two pagodas were built of gray brick, 10.5m (34.4-foot) high with six sides, nine stories, and an octagonal roof.

Today, Red Hill has been developed into a beautiful Red Hill Park. Modern entertainment facilities and ethnic performances bring a fresh and lively atmosphere to people. On the peak of Red Hill, you will enjoy the beautiful scenery of the whole city of Urumqi!

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