Guan Yu Statue – Jingzhou, China - Atlas Obscura
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Jingzhou, China

Guan Yu Statue

China has many statues of the general and war god, but none are as epic as this. 

The Guan Yu Statue in Jingzhou, China is quite a sight. Upon its completion in 2016, Popular Mechanics referred to it as “what might be the most epic statue of all time.” The internet at large, meanwhile, just called it “badass.” And it’s easy to see why.

The 193-foot-tall statue isn’t the tallest statue of Guan Yu in China (the Guan Yu of Yuncheng is seven feet taller), but it still ranks among the 30 or so tallest statues in the world. And weighing in at a massive 1,320 tons, this is one war god you don’t want to mess with.

The figure stands on a 33-foot pedestal, which was designed to look like an ancient Chinese warship. Inside the pedestal is an 83,000-square-foot museum and shrine dedicated to Guan Yu, a mighty general who was instrumental in the events leading up to the end of the Han dynasty and the establishment of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period. Such was his status that he was later deified, and is still worshipped by many Chinese people today.

The statue was designed by the Chinese artist Han Meilin. The massive figure, which is covered in more than 4,000 strips of bronze, shows Guan Yu in combat stance, his robes, cloak and beard swirling around him as he stands defiant and ready for battle, as if protecting the city itself.

In the statue’s hand is a massive guandao, a type of Chinese pole weapon, which alone weighs 136 tons. And this is no ordinary guandao: it’s the Green Dragon Crescent Blade, a legendary weapon wielded by General Guan Yu, at least according to the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. There’s little or no evidence to suggest that Guan Yu actually wielded this weapon, but, well, it’s still badass.

Know Before You Go

The Guan Yu Statue is located in Guan Gong Park in the city of Jingzhou in southern Hubei, China. You can take a high speed train to Jingzhou from most major cities (just make sure it’s the correct Jingzhou, and not the Jingzhou in Hunan Province). From the train station in Jingzhou you can take bus number 15 to Guan Gong Park (also known as Guan Yu Park).

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