The Stone Drum Academy

The Stone Drum Academy, one of the 4 famous institutions of higher learning in the Son dynasty(960/1279), is situated atop of the Stone Drum Hill at the confluence of the Xiang and heng rivers. Here Liu Zongyuan(773-819), Han Yu(768-824), Zhu Xi (1130-1200) Zhang Shi(1133–1800 ), Wen Tianxiang(1236–1283), Xu Xiake (1587–1641) Fuzhi(1619/1692)and other eminent scholars either gave lectures or went sightseeing,Wanb The Birds Bar in the mouth of the Lei river is a newly developed tourist destination. Its thick vegetation provides shelter for thousands of birds, which make a spectacular sight when leaving their nests at daybreak or alighting on trees in swarms at nightfall. Other historic sites include the former residence of Wang Fuzhi and the Memorial to the Revered Man of Letters Mr. Han in Hengyang County, the former residence of Marshal Luo Ronghuan in Hengdong County, the Memorial to Marquis Cai and the Tomb of Du Fu in Leiyang City, and several sites of revolutions in modern China Arts and crafts of Hengyang are best illustrated by the works of the South Mountain, where all temples abound with steles and idols carved of wood or moulded in clay. The Monument to the Im mortal Yu, 7 tons in weight, is inscribed with ancient tadpole shaped characters recording the good deeds of Emperor Yu, a tribal leader in ancient China. The Grand Temple to God of the South Mountain is a large treasure house of inscribed tablets and plaques and stone carvings, many of which prove to be rarities of Chinese calligraphy and engraving. It also possesses a large collection of wooden pillars carved with dragon designs and exquisitely wrought wooden images. These cultural relics are brilliant jewels of traditional Chinese works of art .