The Nine Dragon Screen

Located at the center of the city of Datong, by far the most magnificent Screens in China, Nine Dragon Screen was originally part of the gate to the mansion of Prince Hongwu, the 13th son of the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD).

As a symbol of the ancient emperors of China, the dragons were depicted fighting and frolicking in the clouds above the blue sea. According to Chinese superstition, ghosts and devils can only travel in straight lines, so these magnificent screens were placed before residency gates in order to keep them off. The Nine Dragon Screen was built more than six hundred years ago, and is not only larger than the nine-dragon screen in Beijing's Beihai Park, but three hundred years older. The 45 meters long by 8 meters high glazed-brick structure has nine dragons sculptured in relief in five colors. The nine dragons are vividly portrayed as if flying in the air. Of the nine, the center dragon is considered the most impressive, its glazed eyes staring fixedly off into the distance. Besides the Nine Dragon Screen, there are also a five dragon screen, a three dragon screen and a one dragon screen in the city. There is a pool in front of the screen and the inverted reflection of the screen in water makes it seem to come to life.

Nine Dragon Screen, Datong attractions, Datong Travel Guide