Shen Wansan and Gathering-Treasure City-Gate

Shen Wansan was the No. One rich man in the area to the south of the Yangtze River in the early Ming Dynasty. As it is said, one third of the city of Nanjing was built with his funds. Gathering-Treasure City-Gate (present-day Zhonghua City-Gate ) is the biggest castle with the most ingenious structure. Accroding to a legend, the city-wall fell down repeatedly when this enclosure was being built, until there appeared a huge cavity. Therefore, Zhu Yuanzhang had the Shen Wansan’s gathering-treasure pot buried under the city-wall, hence leading to thr completion of the enclosure. In the Ming Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty, there was a brick pagoda beside the city-wall in the east within the enclosure and that the gathering-treasure pot is said to have been buried under this pagoda which was destroyed in the war under Xianfeng reign of the Qing Dynasty.
As recorded in “Miscellaneous Remarks of Baixia”, “The threshold of the Gathering-Treasure City-Gate is two chi (one chi equals one third of a meter) high and one to two zhang (one zhang equals 3.3333 meters) long. Looking as black as iron, it is said to be a living Meridian rock as a tribute from a foreign country. From zhishi (the period from 11 pm to 1 am) to Wushi (the period from 11 am to 1 pm) everyday, the rock grows one inch and that it will not be worn down unless it is trampled by 10000 people, a saying which is quite deified.”


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