Tel:2km to the north of the Tangyin County, Anyang City
Situated on the open field
4km to the downtown area of
County between the You River and
River, Youlicheng, the first national prison where Emperor Wenwang of the Zhou Dynasty was once imprisoned, is the origin place of The Book of Changes, which is laurelled as an encyclopedia of the world. Famous both domestic and overseas for its vast cultural connotations, Youlicheng is now a science palace admired by people worshiping ancient prophets, studying The Book of Changes and trying to put it into practical use.
Based on Historical Records, Emperor Zhou who had been cruel, fatuous, incompetent and extravagant, the last emperor of the Shang Dynasty, encountered common resentment while King Jichang in the west was on the rise. This incurred jealousy and anxiety of the Emperor Zhou. So he found a pretext and got Jichang jailed in Youli, where Jichang spent seven years in writing The Book of Changes, and expressed in it his naïve dialectic views on contradictions and changes. This is the famous story about the creation of The Book of Changes. So, people of later generations built temples to memorize Jichang, also called Wenwang, on the ruins of Youlicheng.
Temple built on the ruins of Youlicheng facing south were rebuilt in the Ming Dynasty (A.D. 1542). There is a green-blue stone memorial arch at the south end of the platorm on which were inscribed “Yanyifang”. One of the two steles standing at the front gate on both sides has six large Chinese characters meaning “Youlicheng of Wenwang”.
Stepping upward, visitors will be greeted by the maject gate of the monastery behind which ancient cypresses can be found everywhere in the courtyard of the temple. The platform of Yanyitai can be found in the west part of the courtyard where Jichang was imprisoned according to the stroy. The platform built on stone and brick foundation more than 1 meter tall is 13 meters in height, composed of 2 floors, each of which has 3 rooms.
There are lots of steles in the courtyard, on which poems, prose, essays written by emperors, ministries, and scholars in honor of Wenwang can be found. The most famous one among them is the stele named “Yijing by Wenwang”, the words inscribed on which are very important materials for the study of The Book of Changes.
2km to the north of the