The Bailu Zhou（the Egret Sandbar）is a sandy islet in the Ganjiang River which is 1.5 kilometers long and 0.5 kilometers wide with a shape like a weaver’s shuttle. The sandbar is named so because it looks like an egret .As there are many trees and bamboos towering with canopies of leaves on the sandbar ,it provides good habitat for a great number of birds . At the same time .there shoals of fish and shrimps which are good food for the birds. Thus there are many kinds of birds dwelling on the sandbar among which flocks of egrets can be found. The predecessors got the name of Bailu Zhou or the Egret Sandbar from a poem by Li Bai of the Tang Dynasty who is one of the greatest poets in Chinese history. The poem reads like this “half of the firmament is hidden by the three high mountains, and the river is divided into two from the middle by the Egret Sandbar”.
The Bailu Zhou Academy (or the Egret Sandbar Academy)
Located on the Egret Sandbar, the Bailu Zhou Academy (or the Egret Sandbar Academy)is constructed in 1241,the first year of Chun You’s reign of the South Song Dynasty. The academy was made by the prefecture chief of Ji Zhou for the six greatest Confucianists---Cheng Dazhong, Shao Yong,Zhou Dunyi, Zhang Zai,Cheng Yi and Zhu Xi both as a hall and as an academy. Xuan Zong of the Song dynasty ( the title of an emperor’s reign),1205-1264,.wrote the name for the academy. Together with the Bai Ludong Academy (or the White Deer Cave Academy) of Lushan Mountain ,E Hu Academy (or the Goose Lake Academy)of Qian Shan Mountain, Yu Zhang Academy (or the Great Oak Academy)of Nan Chang, they are referred to as ”the Four Great Academies” of Jiangxi. Many famous people came out of that great academy, such as Wen Tianxiang ,Liu Zhenweng and Deng Guangjian, etc. The academy was also used as the highest academy of the prefecture and has undergone repair and expansion throughout the history. Even now ,the ancientry remains. The Feng Yue Tower（or the Tower of Wind and Moon）has three floors and it is a richly ornamented building with carved beams and painted rafters。The building is imposing and magnificent. Standing on the top floor of the tower ,you can see the vast and might Ganjiang River and you will be free of mind and happy of heart.