Now we come to Hanwengong Shrine, which is beside Hangjiang river and west of Bijia mountain.
This shrine had been constructed since Song Dynasty and become the oldest existing and the most completed reservation memorial of Han Yu, who is the great literary man in Tang Dynasty.
In the year of A.D.819, for some political reason, Han Yu was exiled to Chaozhou, a backland at that time. But he was not depressed by this, he helped local people to develop education, agriculture, irrigation and release slaves. To memorize what he had contributed to the development of Chaozhou, people constructed this shrine and name him “Hanwengong” respectfully.
The two sentences carved in this ancient book like stone are extracted from one of Han Yu’s text to encourage people to study, and its meaning is: hard working improves your career, meditation leads to success.
The shrine is constructed cling to mountains and has front and back two parts. Now we play a small game: count the stone steps, later I’ll tell you a secret. How many steps there are? Yes, 51 steps! So when Han Yu came to Chaozhou, he was 51-year old. When Han Yu was to Chaozhou, he was impressed by the beautiful scenery and hospitality of local people. You see that tree? Before it was an oak tree there, which was planted by Han Yu himself. People say more flowers in the oak tree, more well-educated students are. But in Qing Dynasty, this magic oak tree died, so people planted this tree instead.
Han Yu is a Confucian, he supported greatly to develop local education and even donated many money. This statue was done by Han Yu’s portrait.
This is a story: when Han Yu was living in Chaozhou, there is a very fierce and cruel crocodile in the Hanjing river. It was a big social harm. One day Han Yu drafted a rebellious declaration to against the crocodile and announced it beside the river publicly. Since the next day, the crocodile gone. Later people constructed this stage and carve his declaration text on this stele to memory his achievement.
Let’s climb to the “shi lang pavillion” and have a overlook to Chaozhou, the ancient city!