Dongxiao Palace

Dongxiao Palace

Dongxiao Palace is situated in the Zhongtai Township of Yuhang District, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, at the base of the central peak of Dadi Mountain, adjacent to the Dadidong Cave. Renowned for its serene forests and abundant historical sites, it is considered one of the Thirty-Six Lesser Heavens in Taoism. According to legend, the location of Dongxiao Palace is a dwelling place for immortals. "A mountain is famous not for its height but for the presence of immortals." The tranquil environment here is said to cleanse the heart of worldly concerns, hence the name Dadidong Heaven.


Historical Significance of Dongxiao Palace

During the Song Dynasty, Dongxiao Palace held significant political importance and was highly favored and esteemed by the royal family. There is a legend about Emperor Gaozong of Song, Zhao Gou, and Dongxiao Palace that is still told in the vicinity of Gongli Village. It is said that after the Jingkang Incident, Zhao Gou fled south in a panic, wandering for a long time before finally arriving at Dongxiao Palace. The complex terrain and unique architecture of the palace provided Zhao Gou with a natural refuge, enabling him to evade the Jin soldiers' relentless pursuit, thus preserving the seeds for the future restoration of the nation.

Dongxiao Palace not only offered shelter to Zhao Gou but also, due to its secluded and mysterious environment, attracted frequent visits from numerous royal family members. For a period, it even became a royal temporary residence, witnessing the joys and sorrows, as well as the power struggles of the royal family. This elevated Dongxiao Palace to a position of significant political influence at the time.

To further emphasize the importance of Dongxiao Palace, the Song Dynasty court specifically established the position of "Supervisor of Dongxiao Palace." This role was often assigned to high-ranking but currently unemployed officials, also known as high-status idle officials. These supervisors of Dongxiao Palace were not only prominent figures but often had close ties with the royal family. Their presence further enhanced the palace's reputation, earning it the accolade "The Mansion of Immortals on Earth, the Home of Prime Ministers."

This accolade was not without basis but a true reflection of Dongxiao Palace's political status and cultural depth. Here, royal power intertwined with religious authority, politics blended with culture, creating a unique and mysterious world. This world was both a sacred place for royal members seeking spiritual solace and a paradise for literati and poets. In this sanctuary, they could temporarily escape worldly troubles, immerse themselves in the tranquility and mystery of Dongxiao Palace, seeking spiritual purification and creative inspiration.


Literary Haven for Scholars and Poets

Dongxiao Palace is not only considered a blessed land by Taoism but also a travel destination cherished by scholars and poets throughout history. Many renowned literati, such as the poet immortal Li Bai, literary giant Su Shi, and talented individuals like Lu You and Fan Chengda, have visited this place, leaving behind profound poetic inscriptions. Their beautiful writings intricately depicted the natural beauty and rich cultural heritage of Dongxiao Palace, with every line expressing boundless admiration for these landscapes. These poems, like historical testimonies, record the glory and beauty of Dongxiao Palace, leaving a precious cultural heritage for future generations. Each inscription is a unique interpretation of Dongxiao Palace, showcasing the deep emotions and longings of the literati for this blessed land. Consequently, Dongxiao Palace became a place where culture and natural beauty merged, attracting countless later visitors to explore the poetry and stories etched by history.

The Rise and Fall of Dongxiao Palace

Dongxiao Palace, this ancient Taoist holy site, has experienced numerous trials and transformations over its long history. Despite being repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt, its ruins still stand today, bearing witness to the resilience and perseverance of Dongxiao Palace.

In the Yuan Dynasty, Dongxiao Palace reached its peak. With continuous expansion, its area once reached over 80 acres, grand and magnificent, leaving people in awe. More importantly, in the Yuan Dynasty, Dongxiao Palace was granted a high religious status, becoming the center of Taoism in the Jiang, Huai, Jing, and Xiang regions, making it one of the most renowned Taoist temples in the country at the time.

However, as history moved forward, Dongxiao Palace could not escape calamity. In the early Ming Dynasty, during the Hongwu period, Dongxiao Palace was rebuilt, restoring some of its former glory. Unfortunately, in the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty, it suffered a devastating blow once again when a great fire reduced it to ashes.

Despite these disasters, the legends and profound historical and cultural values of Dongxiao Palace did not vanish. On the contrary, they became even more deeply ingrained in people's hearts, cherished as cultural heritage. Today, from the ruins, we can still sense the former splendor and mystery of Dongxiao Palace.






  1. Thousand-year-old Blessed Land Dongxiao Palace - Hangzhou News Center - Hangzhou Net
  2. Encounter Poetry, Meet a More Beautiful Lin'an - Dongxiao Blessed Land
  3. Dadi Xuanguai Heaven: "Heaven of Mount Tianmu" and Dongxiao Palace - The Paper
  4. Taiqing Palace



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