The Baidichen town is located at the entrance of the Qutang Gorge on the north bank of the Yangtze River. It's 8 kilometers (5 miles) from FengJie county and also known as White Emperor City clings to grandeur hills and cliffs. It is actually a mini city scattered with temples and gates on top of Baidi Hill, with a former name of "Zi yang City". Baidi City was in history a must-to-fight for place by various warring powers, as it occupied water and land key point of great significance that means a lot in the military aspect.
It's said to be built by Gong Sunshu, an official but later a soldier, as the site of his headquarter at the end of the Western Han Dynasty. The legend goes that in 25 A.D. Gong Sunshu saw white vapor in the shape of a dragon rising from a nearby well, and taking this as an auspicious omen, he declared himself the 'White Emperor' and renamed the town 'White Emperor City' and the hill Baidi Hill. Later in 36A.D. he raised a war with Liu Xiu (Emperor Guang wu of the Eastern Han Dynasty), then a member of the Han imperial family, in order to annex each other. In this turbulent period, the city was entirely survived from warfare. The grateful local people then built a temple to commemorate him. During the Ming Dynasty, the statue of Gong Sunshu was replaced by a new one for Liu Bei and later with another three for Guan Yu, Zhang Fei and Zhu Geliang respectively.
Another story of the city is about the Three Kingdoms. During the Three Kingdoms Period, Liu Bei, the king of Shu, retreated from a disastrous war against general Lu Su of Wu Kingdom, and died here in distress. Before he passed away, Liu entrusted state affairs and his son, Liu Chan, to Prime Minister Zhu Geliang (a famous idea man in China's history). The front hall contains large statues which depict that section of the story. To the left is the handsome, Observing Stars Pavilion (Guanxing Ting) where Zhu Ge Liang observed the stars and made accurate weather forecasts which helped him plan his victorious battles. With upturned eaves and polished beams, the temple has 12 pillars on the ground floor and 6 on the upper floor.
The Baidi city is surrounded by water on three sides while one side is backed by mountain. It requires to climb almostone thousand stone steps to make one's way up to the entrance of the city, where you might take a bird's eye-view of the magnificent Kuimen scenery; while turn to the back side of the city, one might be amazed at the winding Caotang River flowing into the Yangtze along the foot of the Badi Hill. The Baidi Temple is composed of Mingliang Palace, marquis Wu ancestral shrine and Observing star pavilion, which all in Ming and Qing building styles. Mingliang Palace is the main building of the Badi temple and was built in 1533,in Ming Emperor Jiajing's reign. Sculptures of Liu Bei, Zhang Fei, Guan Yu and Zhu Geliang, the famous historical human figures in the Three Kingdoms period, are shrined in the palace; In the marquis Wu ancestral shrine, the one built to commemorate Zhu Geliang's meritorious deeds in politics and military to the state at that time, there're sculptures of his three generations placed; Observing star pavilion stands in the front of the shrine. The Badi temple also houses the display room of the historical culture relics, hall of poem history, excavated relics belonging to the Neolithic Age and calligraphy and painting works of famous artists in history. Besides, thousands of ceramic and bronze wears, remains of the hanging coffin sand stone tablets with inscription on are also here?ll of these added more flavor and charm to Baidi City. After the Three Gorges Project put more water in, the Baidi City would be finally surrounded by four-sided of water, and it's available to sail the boat to go through the city directly, skipping the thousands steps.
Baidi city is also known as City of Poems. In ancient times, attracted by its fame, many scholars and poets visited here and left lots of literal relics. In the city, there are over 70 poems, carvings, and cultural relics of the Sui, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, in which two steles from Sui, Qing Emperor Kangxi, Bamboo-Leaf Stele and Phoenix Stele are the most outstanding.