Located on the southwestern suburbs of the city of Wuxi, Three Kingdoms City was constructed by CCTV (China Central TeleVision) in 1993 to be the set of Romance of Three Kingdoms historical tv series. Romance of Three Kingdoms is one of the most famous and long-lasting series on Chinese television and Three Kingdoms Film City is the most popular among several similar sites.
Other well-known television sets open to the public in Taihu area are Water Margin City and Outlaws of Marsh City. The series take place in Three Kingdoms era, a time known in Chinese history for a series of intrigues and frame ups, dethrone conspiracies and political manipulation. Three Kingdoms included Wei Kingdom (220-265), Shu Kingdom (221-263) and Wu Kingdom (229-280), which ruled as a single Dynasty from 220, when Wei overpowered Eastern Han Dynsty, until 280, when Wu lost to Court of Jin.
Things to do
The whole “city” covers an area of over 350.000 square meters. Even though all structures were built from scratch they are accurate replicas of buildings in Three Kingdoms era and therefore follow Han Dynasty architecture. The most famous and impressive are: King of Wu’s Palace, Cao Cao’s Army Camp, Gaulu Temple, Seven Star Altar, Peach Garden, Arena and Horse Race Course. More than twenty smaller structures are scattered around the set. The site is quite appealing to both movie fans and visitors interested in Chinese history and culture.
Two Quelu Towers, 21 meters high each, were put on both sides of King of Wu’s Palace as a symbol of official status in Han Dynasty. The black furnishing of the palace shows wealth and honor. King of Wu’s Palace is the very place where King of Shu married the sister of King of Wu in the show.
Situated south of King of Wu’s Palace, Gaulu Temple consists of a Drum Tower, a brick Pagoda, Sword Testing Stone and a Buddhist Hall which houses a Sakyamuni Buddha, a meeting room on its left and a chanting hall on its right. Famous scenes of the series that were filmed in this room include the one where Dowager Wu met her son in law and the one where Liu Bei and Sun Quan held a small ceremony in order to defeat Cao Cao’s Army.
Cao Cao’s Army Camp is a 3000 square meter area with four watchtowers, an outer gate and a muster-platform, from which the visitor can get a panoramic view of the whole camp. The popular scene of Cao Cao composing a poem was shot in this part of the set. Seven Star Altar is a pyramid-shaped building with fish patterns engraved at its center, symbolizing the famous Yin and Yang. Zhuge Lianlg was filmed praying for a southwest wind here.
Daily performances are held on Horse Race Course at 10am, where the visitors are welcome to wear costumes from the series and participate. Other entertaining events, such as ancient-style boat rides, horse riding and bathing in the artificial lake enclosed in the set are scheduled as well.