Saturday, May 14, 2016

Baiyu Tower, Lüshun, Dalian, China

Surrounded by ocean on three sides, this strategic seaport was originally known to the Chinese as Lüshun. It took its English name, Port Arthur, from a Royal Navy Lieutenant named William C. Arthur who surveyed the harbor in the gunboat HMS Algerine in August 1860, during the Second Opium War. At that time Lüshun was an unfortified fishing village. The port was known as Port-Artur (Порт-Артур) under Russian administration and later Ryojun (旅順) under Japanese administration. In the late 1880s, German company Krupp contracted to build series of fortifications around Port Arthur. 

After World War II, the region found itself under Soviet (until 1953) and finally Chinese rule.

Note First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), Japanese took control Port Arthur in a massacre.  Triple Intervention of 1895 granted Japan Liaodong peninsula.  In 1897, Russia coerced lease from China to extend Chinese Eastern Railway from Port Arthur to Harbin.

The Russian town of Dalny (Dalien/Dalian) was undeveloped in this era prior to 1898 when the Russian Tsar Nicholas II of Russia founded the town of Dalny (sometimes Dalney). In 1902, the Russian Viceroy de-emphasized Dalny (building a palace and cultural edifices instead at Port Arthur), except as a commercial port.

Note Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) was extended battle for possession Port Arthur and the railway (renamed Southern Manchurian).  Japan opted for war with Russia.  Japan won resoundingly. 

To the north of Lushunkou Bay, and on top of Baiyun Hill, there stands the white tower -- Baiyu Tower. Originally the tower was built after the Russo-Japanese War by the Japanese to commemorate their 20, 000 war causalities.
Known as the "Hall of Ashes", the 66.8-m-high tower took a shape of a candle offering a sacrifice to the souls of the deceased and on the other side it resembled a bullet which symbolized the military force of Japan. More than 20,000 Chinese coolies were captured and were driven to build the monument. Many of them died during the 2 1/2 year period.
In 1985, the tower was formally renamed Baiyu Tower.Cannon with a 210-mm-diameter barrel displayed on the hillside nearby. It was originally bought by the Qing Dynasty from the Krupp Arsenal Germany

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