Taishan mountain and Tai’an city
Tai’an City is located in the center of Shandong Province, home to the ancient states of Lu and Qi. Built in homage to Taishan Mountain (Mount Tai), one of China’s sacred peaks, the city was named after an old saying: “If all is well on Taishan Mountain, the world will be at peace.” “Tai’an” literally means “peace upon Taishan.”
The mountain is a stone’s throw away from the city, making it a hub for visitors and pilgrims. Throughout its history emperors, generals, men of letters and common folk alike have come here to savor the grand scenery, pray in tranquil surrounds and write poetry.\
In the Chinese tradition, Taishan is more than a mere mountain. It is the sum of spiritual beliefs of a people, and the grand totem of a nation.
While the mountain demands the attention of visitors to Tai’an, the 2,000-year-old city is a marvel in itself.
Tai’an is one of several locales regarded as a birthplace of ancient Chinese civilization. As early as 5,000 years ago, the region was home to advanced human settlements. Evidence attests to the growth of the Dawenkou Culture here during the period when Chinese society transformed from matriarchy to patriarchy.
The old government building, operational for 1,000 years from the Song (960-1276) to the Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, is still a city landmark. The old doors creak when pushed open, while the blue stone walls and statues inside remind visitors of time-honored legends.
Touring Taishan Mountain
In China, Taishan is said to be the nation’s No.1 mountain, and is one of its five sacred peaks. It is not tall – standing on top, visitors are only 1,545 meters above sea level, but its history and scenery make it a giant.
Standing on the North China Plain, the mountain overlooks the sea to the east and the Yellow River to the west, which appears like a golden ribbon winding beyond undulating hills. For Chinese in the region, Taishan appears as a pillar supporting the sky.
When discussing Taishan’s history, the importance attached to it by successive emperors is a good place to start.