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Jinma Biji Archways: Gold and turquoise intertwining

Updated:2017-10-26 18:49:59   english.yunnan.cn

The Golden horse and Jade Rooster Memorial Archways (or Jinma-Biji Archways) are located at the intersection of Sanshi Street and Jinbi Road --on the axis of Kunming.

Incorporating many features of Kunming folk culture in its incomparably exquisite carved beams and painted rafters, these archways stand 12 meters high and 18 meters wide. The Eastern arch in the direction of Mount Jinma is called Jinma Archway; the Western arch in the direction of Mount Biji is called Biji Archway. Together with the northern “Zhong-Ai Gate”, in memory of Sayyid who was a famous politician in Yuan Dynasty(1271—1368), they are known as the “Pinzi Sanfang”: three gates forming the shape of the Chinese character pin, a triangular layout composed of three rectangular forms. A major landmark in central Kunming, it contrasts with the Nanzhao Kingdom Eastern and Western Pagodas, which still stand in south Kunming, representative of the architecture of a more ancient Kunming civilization.

But the true uniqueness of Jinma Biji Archways lies in one particular magical moment known as “Jinbi Jiaohui”: Gold and Turquoise Intertwining. Just before the sunset, the golden rays of the sun illuminating the Biji Archway from the west, cast its shadow on the square to the east. And at the same time, the light of the moon, just risen from the east, casts the shadow of Jinma Archway on the paving stones to the west. With the movements of the sun and moon, the shadows of the two archways gradually draw closer to finally connect, a moment known as "Jinbi Jiaohui". 

Editor: Eric Wang