Shenxian is in the middle of the
tourist route of Hangzhou, the Qiandao Lake, Huangshan Mountain and Jiuhua Mountain.
It has the Huihang and Tunwu Roads converging and the Anhui-Jiangxi Railway
running through. With green mountains and crystal-clear rivers, Shenxian has
a collection of ancient gardens, pavilions, bridges, archways and pagodas. The
county is an living historical museum with major spots of the Taibai Building,
the Xin'an Stele Garden, the Archway of Xuguo, the Doushan Street and the
Memorial Hall for Tao Xingzhi.
To the west of the Taibai Bridge, the Taibai
Building is the place one must pass by from Huangshan Mountain to the Qiandao
Lake. The building is of the typical Anhui-style and features two storeys with
exhibitions of steles, and scriptures of all dynasties. It is said that in the
Tianbao reign of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Li Bai once came to Shixian to
visit the hermit, Xu Xuanping. However, they missed each other on the bank of
the Lianjiang River. In memorial of this experience, people built the Taibai
Building on the seat of the place where Li Bai drank. Climbing up the building,
one can enjoy the scenery of the old bridges and pagodas.
Standing in the downtown of the county, the
Archway of Xuguo is a key protection unit of the state. It was set up in the
12th year (1584) of the Wanli reign in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)
to honor Xu Guo, the Minister of the Board of Rites and the Scholar of the
Wuying Palace. Xu Guo was successful in the highest national examination in the
Jiajing reign of the Ming Dynasty, thereafter became a prestigious minister for
three emperors, namely Jiajing, Longqing and Wanli. The archway has eight
pillars on the four sides. All the pillars, railings, ridges and tiers were made
of black stones of 4 to 5 tons with delicate carvings of dragons and phoenixes.
The twelve stone lion in front of the archway are the typical demonstration of
the Anhui carving art. All the scriptures of the archway were the works of the
famous calligrapher Dong Qichang, student of Xu Guo, which have an effect of
adding to the boldness and dignity of the archway. Located in town, the Doushan
Street is an integration of ancient residences, streets, sculptures, wells and
arches, and looks like a long picture scroll of history.
The original clock tower is now called
Dongqiao Gate or Yanghe Gate. The gate is a two-storeyed tower and was built in
the Hongzhi reign of the Ming Dynasty.