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Wuwei and Around

The Han Dynasty Tomb at Leitai


The tomb is located in present Leitai Park of Wuwei. It was discovered in 1969 underneath a Chinese scholartree at Leitai, the site of a temple dedicated to the god of thunder built in the middle of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Artifacts found in the tomb include the famous bronze galloping horse, which is now used as the logo of Chinese tourism. According to the inscription on a terracotta horse from the tomb, the tomb belonged to Zhang Jun, garrison commander of Zhangye, who died between A.D.186-219. It has yielded 231 artifacts made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, jade, bone, stone, and pottery and 99 terracotta horses used for ceremonial purposes. The best of the finds in terms of artistic value is a bronze galloping horse covered with greenish-blue verdigris. It is depicted in full gallop with its right hind hoof stepping on the back of flying swallow. Built with superb workmanship, the bronze horse is a fine example of Chinese bronze art. The original is now housed in the Gansu Provincial Museum but replicas of the horse are available almost everywhere in Gansu.

Wenmiao (Confucian Temple)

Situated in the southeastern part of Wuwei, Wenmiao is a complex of structures built in palace style in 1439 during the Ming Dynasty. It was expanded time and again in the following centuries and gradually became the "number one institute of learning in Longyou (areas west of the Liupan Mountains and east of the Yellow River in Gansu)." Facing south and covering an area of 1,500 square meters, the temple was where intellectuals pursued further studies and offered sacrifices to Confucius in ancient times.

Wenmiao has many stone inscriptions, the best-known of which are the ones that record in ancient Uygur script the deeds of the king of Gaochang and the deeds of Lord Wang Xindu from Xining as well as the one that records in the Han and Western Xia scripts the story about the reconstruction of the Ganyingta (Pagoda of Heavenly Reward and Retribution) in Huguosi (Temple of State Protection).

Wenmiao also houses the Wuwei Museum.

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