Huanglongfu City-part one
Huanglongfu City-part one
Huanglongfu (literally "Yellow Dragon City") is sited upon the ancient city of Nong'an. According to historical records, ancient Nong'an was first built at the time of the ancient Fuyu State. In the Han Dynasty, it was the capital of the State of Fuyu. In the Sui Dynasty, it was Fuyu City of Koguryo, and at the time of the Tang Dynasty, it was Fuyu Prefecture of Bohai State. When the Liao Empire destroyed Bohai State, it was renamed "Huanglongfu" and a Huanglong (Yellow Dragon) County was established simultaneously. The name also recalls a legend. In 926, the first year of the Tianxian reign period of the Liao Dynasty, Yelu Abaoji, Emperor Taizu, led his army to attack Bohai State. He first conquered Fuyu City, and then Huhan City, the capital of the Bohai State (Dongjingcheng in Ning'an County, Heilongjiang Province), in the first lunar month of the year, forcing the king of Bohai State to surrender. In the second lunar month, he changed the name of Bohai to "Dongdan"and that of Huhan City to "Tianfu." Later, the emperor returned to Fuyu City with his army, and stayed there because he was ill. In the seventh lunar month, he lay dying. One night, a huge star fell in front of his bedroom hall. At daybreak the following day, a gleaming yellow dragon was seen circling the sky above the city. Then, the dragon flew into the emperor's palace, which was suddenly covered with a purple light and smoke that did not dissipate until evening. Before long, the emperor died, at the age of 55. From then on, the Liao court renamed Fuyu City “Huanglongfu.” This legend was, of course, a conjure-up to exalt Emperor Taizu of Liao Dynasty. Nevertheless, the name “Huanglongfu” was indeed derived from the legend.
In those years, Huanglongfu was one of the seven important strategic towns of the Liao Empire, which were collectively known as "five capitals and two prefectures." Occupying majestically the highland on the west banks of the Yitong River, the city is square in shape, with its city walls running to 3,840 m. Besides the four main gates on the four walls, there is a small gate each on the south, west and east walls. Four high towers stood at the four corners of the city. The famous ancient Nong'an pagoda was built in that period. This octagonal brick pagoda has 13 floors, 33 m high. The earliest Buddhist pagoda in northeast China, it has stood there for more than a thousand years.
As for the building of the pagoda, there are many legends, and one of them goes thus: One night, as the imperial astrologer of the Liao Empire was observing the stars, he saw a meteor falling in the Huanglongfu area. He reported to the emperor that an evil dragon had come down to the world from Heaven to compete with the empire for the control of the country. He suggested that a pagoda should immediately be built to suppress it. On the emperor's orders, he set out immediately for Huanglongfu with a troop of soldiers. After seven days and seven nights' hard journey across the vast grassland, they arrived and lodged at the Longxiang Guesthouse. That very night, the astrologer observed some purple clouds at the east gate of the city going towards the northeast. The next day, accompanied by local officers, he went to the east gate to take a closer look. Out the east gate was a wide river, so he sailed downstream by boat to the north. On the west banks of the river, a continuous mountain range coiled like a dragon for several dozens of miles north of the city. The astrologer believed this was an earth dragon that would enable someone to take the throne. The dragon's head was at the north gate of Xiangzhou City. He believed that, to suppress a dragon, the first step was to suppress its head; therefore he ordered a brick pagoda built outside the north gate of Xiangzhou. However, when this pagoda was only half finished, the astrologer, during nighttime observation, discovered that the earth dragon had turned its head towards the Huanglongfu City. So, he immediately stopped the construction of the pagoda outside Xiangzhou, and led the troops and workers to Huanglongfu to build another pagoda. At that time, the only method to build a pagoda was to pile up a mound. The mound had to be as high as the future pagoda. Three years plus three months plus three days had elapsed in an instant. Workers heaped up a 39-m-high mound, and finally built a l3-storey brick pagoda outside the west gate of Huanglongfu. Crowned with gold, the pagoda had bronze bells and iron horses hanging down at an angle. Whenever there is wind, the bells and horses jingled in a duet. Later, local people called this pagoda “Longwan (Dragon Bay) Pagoda,” and named the pagoda left uncompleted at Xiangzhou “Banjie (Half) Pagoda.” Knowing that the earthen dragon had been pacified underneath the pagoda, Emperor Shengzong heaved a sigh of relief. Thereafter, Huanglongfu had got another name, "Long'anfu" (Dragon Peace City)