in Tao the only motion is returning
The Palace of Harmony, or the Golden Peak, lies in the top of Skyscraper peak which is the highest peak of Wudang Mountains. Skyscraper peak, with an elevation of 1613 meters penetrating into the clouds, was regarded as a pillar to support the sky and the highest scenic spot in Wudang Mountains. You have not come to Wudang Mountains in a real sense until you climbed onto the peak and entered the Palace of Harmony no matter you are Taoist, pilgrim, visitor, or man of letters. One emperor of Ming Dynasty, Zhu Di ordered to build the Palace of Harmony 600 year ago. The great construction of the Palace of Harmony was finished on the steep and dangerous peak in only 4 years. He also named the mountain the First Biggest Mountain of Harmony so that Wudang Mountains was put to the head of the other four biggest mountains in China. During the rule of emperor Jiajing, the Palace of Harmony was enlarged that there were more than 520 rooms.
The constructions of the Palace of Harmony, depending on the dangerous peak and making full use of the natural rise and fall of the mountain ranges, achieved an artistic effect of solemnity and grandeur and showed a meaning that God is most powerful and can't be trespassed.
The constructions had achieved harmonious unification with natural environment and artificial surrounding and had materialized the cleverness of the Chinese to the full. After visiting, experts of world legacy, space science and construction all felt surprised and thought the constructions of the Palace of Harmony can't be rivaled.
According to Chinese legend, the South Sky Entrance is the most important entrance to get into Heaven and the imperial palaces of Jade Emperor. There are three gates in the South Sky Entrance: holy gate, ghost gate and human gate. Ghost gate is the symbolic gate which is always closed since it was built up because there is no permission for the evil ghosts to appear at the worshiping palaces. Holy gate is closed except that when the imperial families visit this place, but human gate is always open for all the pilgrims to pay homage to Emperor Zhenwu.
The walls jointing the South Sky Entrance is called Purple Gold Wall, with the foundation of 2.4 meters and the superstruc-ture of 1.26 meters. The solid walls perfectly display that Emperor Yongle, Zhu-Di's order is as solid and everlasting as the sun and the moon.
In the period of Emperor Yongle, people constructed the famous Golden Palace on the top of Heavenly Pillar Peak in Wudang Mountains. But there were no walls around the palace at that time until in 1419, Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu-Di commanded to build Purple Gold Wall on the top of Heavenly Pillar Peak. Eventually, the whole project costs about 5 years. Using gigantic solid stones to make such a wonderful wall imbues everyone with a surprise.
In the period of Emperor Yongle, it was restricted to enter into Purple Gold Wall, just as the popular saying goes "The Forbidden City in the North, Purple Gold Wall in the South." There-fore, we can see that the Golden Palace of Wudang Mountains played the same important role as the Forbidden City in history.
Getting into the South Sky Entrance of Purple Gold Palace and then ascending the steps, you will reach the gloomy and dim corridor of the Hall of Official Wang. Official Wang, in Taoism, is the guard and supervisor to rule mountain gates, overwatch the altars, protect the laws and settle the disputes of immortals. The hall, in front of the Golden Palace, is the right place to carry on the last spiritual baptism to the pilgrims, so it has special importance.
With the limitation of mountain shape, the Hall of Official Wang is a little stone hall closely attached to the rock. Inside of the stone hall lays a tiny tin hall, which is the evidence of the application of tin in the building materials. The construction skill and the artistic shape of the tiny hall are also worth praising. As the first tin-made historic relic, it is very precious.
In the system of Taoist gods, Official Wang is the guard and supervisor to rule mountain gates, overwatch the altars, protect the laws and settle the disputes of immortals, so he takes the responsibility to punish the disloyalties. There is a horizontal board inscribed "Holy kindness covers all the earth", which has double meanings: one is to praise the emperor for his kindness to his people; the other one is to praise Emperor Zhenwu for his favor to nourish the whole earth with sunshine, rain and dew.
On the way to the Golden Peak, you will climb higher and higher after past Yellow Dragon Cave. The mountaineering is very hard, although the scenery is peculiar. But later a building of red walls and emerald tiles shaded by green trees is close at hand. This is the very Heavenward Palace built on the route of the ancient god road.
According to the legend, Heavenward Palace is the dividing line between the Heaven and the mortal world. During the ancient times, those who paid respect to Zhenwu Emperor and thought that they had got into the Heaven, must worship here and then continued mountain-climbing. It is said in Taoism that here is the supreme state for the ordinary people to attain.
The statues of Jade Emperor and Zhenwu Emperor are enshrined in the Heaven Palace. At present, there is an exhibition of decrees and inscriptions by emperors of Successive Dynasties to Mt. Wudang, which lively reappear the development history of Taoism with the support of emperors. When resting, the tourists can know its history and the statues in each dynasty.
In addition, there are East Side Hall and West Side Hall and Taoist temples where the other deities statues are enshrined.
The Golden Palace, the symbol of the Wudang mountains, is the sign of Wudang Taoism reaching a high peak under the support of the imperial family.
Standing in front of the Golden Palace, you can have a panoramic view of the beautiful scene of Wudang Mountains, as far as 400 kilometers. All the peaks are stopping at the static moment, just like raged waves, which wonderfully advertises the mighty prestige and lofty imperial power.
The Golden Palace, with a height of 5.45 meters and flying-eaves decorated by dragon, phoenix, sea horse and immortals, is the highest one in the ancient Chinese construction grade. Bronze constructed, the Golden Palace was gilded by gold outside. All the parts were so perfect matched that there is without any crevice. Enduring about 600 years' wind and rain, thunder and lightening, cold winter and hot summer, the Golden Palace is still shining as if it was newly built up. Hence, the Golden Palace, national treasure, not only presents the wonderful Chinese ancient architecture skills, but also reveals the wisdom of Chinese people and advanced levels in science and technology of ancient China.
The Golden Palace is the integration of intelligence and creativity, and also the display of art and beauty. The inside walls of the Golden Palace were lightly carved with soft floating-clouds lines. Purple mantel, clean and smooth, reflects a gentle and harmonious color. The statues of Emperor Zhenwu, Gold Boy and Jade Girl and the Generals of Water and Fire which are being worshipped inside the Golden Palace have delicate descriptions and distinct personalities.
Golden Clock Pavilion and Jade Drum Pavilion are in front of the Golden Palace. On the two sides of the palace, there are Lot House and Stamp House for pilgrims to draw lots and stamp the holy mark. Behind those houses is Parents Palace, which is the holy place for pilgrims to show respect to Zhenwu's parents.