Panorama of the cliff stone carving “Revitalizing the Sanhe Palace of Gulangyu”
The former site of the Sanhe Palace is located near the building 57, Guxin Road, under the cliff of the HSBC Mansion. The giant granite vertical wall is engraved with the cliff stone inscription “Sanhe Palace Records of Revitalizing Gulangyu”, about 11.50 meters wide, about 6.40 meters wide, and about 60 or 70 square meters wide. This is also the location of the “Four Pines” (because of the homonym of pine and banyan in Minnan dialect, here specifically refers to “Four Banyan”), which is passed down by Gulangyu people by mouth. However, due to the vicissitudes of life, the “Sanhe Palace” and “Four Pines” in the past are not seen. There is only one cliff standing on the bank of Lujiang River, looking at the time and telling the past
Buildings near Sanhe Palace
The “Sanhe Temple” was originally called “Ruibu Temple”. During the reign of Kangxi, Master Ruiguang, a senior disciple of the “Huxi Temple” in Xiamen, who was the abbot of the Stone Dragon Monk, and a group of disciples, worked hard to build it here. Later, it developed into a majestic temple. It is said that the “Ruibu Temple” was at its peak with a large number of believers and monks. However, the good times did not last long. The “Ruibu Temple” soon broke down. Later, it worshipped the “Heavenly Virgin” Mazu and began to be renamed “Sanhe Palace”. After Wang Deliu revived the “Sanhe Palace”, the incense fire of the “Sanhe Palace” did not continue. It was said to have been destroyed by the war. Later, it was renamed as “Fahai Academy”, and in the end, “Fahai Academy” did not leave much imprint. Later, the land was turned into a private residential courtyard by foreigners. Thanks to the efforts and excavation of relevant departments of Kulangsu, the rest was completed before Kulangsu applied for the World Cultural Heritage on July 8, 2017. Only then did the cliff stone carving, which has been around for more than 400 years, come to life.
The “Revitalization of Sanhe Palace Cliff Stone Carvings” records that during the Jiaqing period of the Qing Dynasty, the Fujian navy commander Wang Delu, a native of Changhua, Taiwan, and Wang Guizhang, a Supervisor of the County of Tong’an, fought to suppress bandits in Taiwan. Due to the passage of time, there are some illegible words, but the content can be confirmed to be the matter of the building of the warship in front of Sanhe Palace:
HSBC Mansion on the cliff top
Wishing Sanhe Palace: At that time, Wang Deliu was not the commander of Fujian navy. He led the navy warships to berth in Gulangyu Ao (now a natural concave typhoon shelter between Neicuoao Wharf and Yanwei Mountain) in the eighth year of Jiaqing (1803) to repair the warships and recuperate the army. One day, when he was free, Wang Delu and his people went ashore and crossed the ridge between Bijia Mountain and Yanwei Mountain. There was a small temple (Sanhe Palace) under the roadside cliff to worship the “Heavenly Virgin” Mazu, whose law was dignified and majestic, but the temple was dilapidated! Mother Mazu is the patron saint of fishermen, boatmen and caravans on the water. Wang Deliu went forward to worship and wished Mazu’s mother to bless him with success after graduation. If he could do so, he would like to revive Sanhe Palace and create another golden body for Mazu’s mother.
“Heavenly Virgin” Madonna
Pray for Sanhe Palace: Wang Deliu acted as Fujian navy commander for his meritorious campaign against bandits over the years. In August of the 14th year of Jiaqing’s reign (1809), together with Qiu Lianggong, the governor of Zhejiang Province, the bandits gathered together with An Cai to fight in the waters of Yushan Ocean in Dinghai, Zhejiang Province, and won a great victory. Cai Qian also saw that the situation was over and the ship sank. For this reason, Wang Deliu was granted the second class viscount by Emperor Jiaqing, and was awarded the crown and the feather, and was actually awarded the supervisor of Fujian navy. After returning to Xiamen, Wang Deliu rebuilt the Sanhe Palace in the 18th year of Jiaqing (1813) according to the promise made in front of the goddess Mazu in the Sanhe Palace, and wrote an article and carved it on the cliff beside the Sanhe Palace.
Close view of “Revitalizing the Sanhe Palace on Kulangsu”
“Revitalizing the Sanhe Palace Records of Gulangyu” cliff stone carving is the largest cliff stone carving on Gulangyu, and also the first in Xiamen. At the same time, it is the physical data of the history of Fujian and Taiwan exchanges, so it has become a cultural relic protection site at Xiamen municipal level and a cultural relic protection unit in Fujian Province. It is now one of the 53 core elements of the UNESCO “Kulangsu World Cultural Heritage”.