Eye of the Tortoise

The gate is the eye, the granite rock formation is the tortoise.
The gate is the eye, the granite rock formation is the tortoise.

At the top of Tai Shan there is a round gate called the “eye of the tortoise”.  The tortoise is one of the nine sons of the dragon.

The gate itself is pretty cute.

KSM-20151018-Tortoise_Eye-01-720pxThe eye of the tortoise is a gate to a viewing area. This is one of the places people come to watch the sunrise (to read about our sunrise experience check out Sleeping Dragon Slowly Opens One Eye). More famously, it is where Confucius came to view his territory, the stae of Lu.

I have wondered about the significance and connection between this formation and the bixi, which are a statue of a tortoise carrying a stele on its back. Mount Tai is a very old place of importance and it would be interesting to know if this granite formation helped shape the mythology of the region.

Yishan Dongzhen Temple, Weifang, Shandong province, China

What do you think?

Eye Spy

3 thoughts on “Eye of the Tortoise”

    1. Of course. The human built “eye” makes the shape more suggestive of a tortoise. With these very ancient sites, and Tai Shan has been important since neolithic times, there can be an interaction between the stories and the site. Much like how the formations in the dead sea area probably led to the importance placed on the story of Lot’s wife looking back and turning into a pillar of salt.


      1. hello kate! what fun.I love thee photos and text. Shall follow regularly. Lot’s wife story probably a jewish version of Lear and Cordelia.Two daughters rob him and one condemns because she loves him more than salt instead of gold and silver. Also see Wisdom comparisons in Proverbs.


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