Wuhou Shrine

The Wuhou Memorial Shrine is perhaps Chengdu’s most popular tourist attraction for Chinese visitors. However, most foreign visitors will probably be unimpressed and somewhat bewildered by this sprawling complex of halls and temples. Basically, the Wuhou Shrine is a memorial to Zhuge Liang (181-234), a general and prime minister of the Three Kingdoms period who was renowned and respected as much for his wisdom and loyalty as he was for his military brilliance. Receiving equal billing at the shrine is Liu Bei, the benevolent Emperor of the Shu Kingdom who had enlisted Zhuge Liang as his ‘Minister of War.’

On the grounds of the Wuhou Shrine is a mausoleum, said to be the final resting place of Liu Bei. The exact date that the shrine was founded isn’t known, but it was apparently a tourist attraction as early as the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Most of the buildings in the complex date from 1672 when a massive reconstruction took place. The exploits and endeavors of Zhuge Liang and Liu Bei were immortalized in the Chinese classic “The Romance of the Three Kingdoms”, which helps to explain the appeal the Wuhou Shrine has to Chinese tourists. Foreigners who haven’t read the novel probably won’t get a lot out of a visit, but some of the halls are exquisitely decorated and there are plenty of interesting statues around.

Admission: ¥60. Open: 8:00-18:30 (later in summer).

Address: 231 Wuhouci Dajie. Tel: +86 (028) 8555 2397. Website: www.wuhouci.net.cn

Show the taxi driver: 请带我去武侯祠, 谢谢。 (Please take me to Wuhou Shrine. Thank you.)