Heptachord Terrace (Guqin Tai) in Wuhan

Why is Heptachord Terrace So Special?

It is one of China’s musical and cultural monuments, national AAA scenic spots, key cultural relics protection units in Hubei province, and cultural relics tourism landscapes in Wuhan. It is also named as the three major scenic spots in Wuhan along with the Yellow Crane Tower and Qingchuan Pavilion, and is known as “the first place in the world to know friends.”

Where is Heptachord Terrace

Located on the shore of Yuehu Lake at the foot of Guishan Mountain in Hanyang District of Wuhan City, Hubei Province, it faces Guishan Mountain in the east and Yuehu Lake in the north.

History of Heptachord Terrace

The Heptachord Terrace is a reminder of the legend of Yu Boya, who was a famous official who lived in the Jin State during the the Spring and Autumn Period (770 – 476B.C.), and was an expert heptachord player. One day, Yu Boya played two pieces of music on his way home by boat from an official visit to the Chu State. One was a composition called ‘High Mountain’ and the other ‘Flowing Water’. To Yu Boya’s amazement Zhong Ziqi, a woodcutter, understood and appreciated his music. Yu Boya admired Zhong Ziqi’s musical attainment and after a long conversation they became bosom friends. Since Yu Boya had to return to his state, they agreed to meet again in the coming year. Unfortunately, Yu Boya found that his friend had died from a disease before their planned meeting could take place and understandably he was deeply grieved upon hearing the sad news. Upon setting up an altar near his friend’s grave and burning incense there, he played ‘High Mountain’ and ‘Flowing Water’ once again. The emotion of the music was so strong that it was as if the rivers and the mountains were crying. When he had finished playing, the distraught musician broke his heptachord to pieces. From then on, Yu Boya never played again.

The Heptachord Terrace was built in honor of the sincere friendship between Yu Boya and Zhong Ziqi during the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279) and later restored by a prefect living in Hubei Province during the early years of the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911).

Main Attractions of Heptachord Terrace

Surrounded by water on three sides, the seven-storey terrace is located in some very beautiful scenery. In addition to the stone steps, a hall called “mountain and water” stands there. Other recreational facilities around this place include courtyards, teahouses and botanical gardens. At the entrance of qizitai, you will see a colorful glazed tile hall with the words “guqin table” written on it. Walking towards the north, you will see a screen facing the gate, on which are engraved the Chinese characters of Emperor Daoguang of Qing Dynasty (1875-1909). Through a small door to the east of this screen, a zigzag corridor is in front of you. Here, you will see many stone carvings and inscriptions commemorating the restoration of the seven terraces. To the west of the balcony is Hertford Hall, in front of which is a white marble platform. Legend has it that Yu Boya played his musical instruments on this platform. There is a wax exhibition showing how the two became good friends, and a white marble statue of Yu Boya playing a lyre.

In short, traveling to Qizitai will help tourists truly understand the friendly nature of the Chinese people and better understand their emphasis on sincere feelings.

Best Time to Travel Heptachord Terrace

The best time to pay a visit is in Spring and Autumn.

Wuhan has a monsoon (humid) climate in the northern subtropics, which is characterized by abundant rainfall, sufficient heat, the same season of rain and heat, the same season of light and heat, the same season of winter and Leng Xia heat, and distinct seasons.

How to Get There

  • Take metro line 6, and get off at Heptachord Terrace (Qintai) Station, Exit A. Then walk southwest around 640 meters (700 yards).
  • Take bus 24, 42, 79, 524, 558, 575, 579, 585, 608, 629, 704, 705, 707, 708, 801, or YX42 to Yingwu Dadao Qintai Gongyuan.
  • Take bus 61, 401, 413, 541, 554, 561, 607, 710, 728, or Trolleybus 7 to Yingwu Dadao Tongluowan Guangchang.

Useful Travel Tips

Entrance Fee CNY 15
Opening Hours 8:30 – 17:00
  • Students are allowed to visit 8 yuan with their student ID cards, and the elderly over 60 are free to visit.

Nearby Attractions

Edited by Doreen/张洋