The Yue Fei Temple was rebuilt in 1450 AD during the Ming Dynasty, though its original construction date is still uncertain. This monument to Yue Fei, a Chinese national hero, remains remarkably well preserved. As one of several ruins related to the revered Yue Fei, the Temple features over 100 halls and rooms and houses more than 40 statues and 300 steles from notable persons across many dynasties.
Born into a humble farmer's family, the great General Yue Fei rose to lead his people to several important victories against the Jin invaders. Intelligent and ambitious since youth, he joined the army at the age of 20 and quickly ascended to prominence. Known as more than a powerful warrior, Yue Fei was also ruled by his moral code. This strict adherence to virtue led to the General's tragic demise when he refused orders to retreat and was hence executed by his superiors. But in the hearts and minds of the people, Yue Fei remains greatly revered while his murderers are seen as shameful traitors.
Entering this monument, the first structure encountered is the wooden tower of Jingzhongfang, literally "the Tower of Devotion and Loyalty." Meanwhile, on the two walls beside the tower are the Chinese characters for "Loyalty" and "Fealty." Stepping through the threshold into the hall, five iron statues of the General's murderers are found kneeling down to a huge brass statue of an angry and powerful Yue Fei.
Two pavilions rest in the east and west courts, while a stone forest of 300 steles honor Yue Fei within the Temple. These great inscriptions serve as an archive of central Chinese calligraphy and literature. Crossing the Yimen Gate and facing the Yubei Pavillion, visitors find the majestic Great Hall, where a colorful statue of Yue Fei sits at the center. A gold plaque hangs over the General reading, "Give Back the Land." Meanwhile, exhibition rooms depict of the daily life of Yue Fei, while the back hall displays the Chushibiao (The Letter to the Emperor before the March of the Army), a famous calligraphy work of Yue Fei.