Yan’an is located on the Loess Plateau in northern Shaanxi Province. The old town nestles against Phoenix Hill (Fenghuangshan), with Precious Pagoda Hill (Baotashan) to its east, Cool Hill (Qingliangshan) to its northeast, and the Yanhe River flowing by. The town was of great strategic importance in ancient wars, and is steeped in revolutionary traditions. It was here that Li Zicheng (1706-1645) and Zhang Xianzhong (1606-1646) launched an armed peasant rebellion which overthrew the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). And it was here, in October 1935, that the Chinese Worker’s and Peasants’ Red Army, after completing the 12,500 kilometers Long March, established a revolutionary base against the Japanese aggression. From 1937 to 1947, Yan’an was the seat of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Thousands upon thousands of patriotic Chinese youths came here to join the revolutionary ranks against the Japanese invaders. During those hard years, they lived in caves, ate the millet they themselves grew and won the final victory in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. After the liberation of the country in 1949, places of historical significance relating to the revolution were preserved in Yan’an and have been visited by many from both home and abroad.
Yan’an Precious Pagoda
This pagoda on Precious Pagoda Hill to the east of Yan’an was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) but reconstructed during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It has become a symbol of the Chinese revolution, since the CPC established its headquarters in Yan’an in July 937.
It was in this historical site about three kilometers northwest of Yan’an that the CPC Central Committee led the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. At the entrance is an auditorium, a vaulted brick and wood structure. The small building at the rear used to be the office of the Central Committee’s General Affairs Department. Mao Zedong, Zhu De, Zhou Enlai, and other leaders of the revolution had their residences on a small hill in the north. An exhibition hall has been built there to show the revolutionary activities of the leaders and the people in Yan’an.
This site, ten kilometers northwest of Yan’an, used to be where the Secretariat of CPC Central Committee operated. It was here the Secretariat directed the war against the Japanese invaders, the CPC’s Rectification Movement of 1942, and the production drives launched in 1941 and 1942 to feed and cloth the people and army and maintain the war. Military attacks by the Japanese and economic blockade by the Kuomintang had made the production drive absolutely necessary. Here, Mao Zedong wrote many of his revolutionary works. The Date Garden, full of trees and flowers, is a beautiful place to visit.
During the War of Resistance, the Xinhua News Agency, the Xinhua Broadcasting Station, and Jiefang Ribao (Liberation Daily) all had their offices here. There is a stone cave on this hill called Ten-Thousand Buddha Cave (Wanfodong) which was carved out during the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties. It contains more than ten thousand Buddhist sculptures. The Moon Well (Yue’erjing), the Piba Bridge, and many other scenic spots with fancy names on the hill are all connected with beautiful legends.