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In the past, there was a drawbridge to allow access to the city.
The city wall of Xian is the most complete city wall still existing in China. The name "Yellow Crane" derives from an ancient legend that an immortal mounted a yellow crane at this site and then flew away. Long ago a man rode off on a yellow crane, all that remains here is Yellow Crane Tower.
At best, these books may mention that there is an illustration of a "temple" or "pagoda" but do not provide any information as to what the historical site is or why it may have been important enough to be included in the design of the currency.
This article will attempt to address this oversight by giving additional background information on selected banknotes so as to provide a better understanding of Chinese history and culture as conveyed through the images on its paper money. The vignette shows the ancient walled city of Ningpo (宁波) in the distance with cotton fields in the foreground.
Due to certain drawbacks associated with paper money, the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) relied on coins for a long time with the exception of a brief period (1651-1661) during the Shun Zhi reign of Emperor Shi Zu.
However, the situation changed in 1853 during the Xian Feng reign of Emperor Wen Zong when large military expenditures were required to suppress the Taiping Rebellion. The Hu Bu Guan Piao ("Official Note of the Ministry of Interior and Finance" 户部官票) was issued in a denomination based on a tael of silver.
During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the textile industry flourished in Ningpo which is a port city in Zhejiang Province on the east coast of China.
Ningpo is surrounded on three sides by mountains with a fertile plain in the middle which makes it ideal for growing cotton.
Some vignettes show world-famous structures such as the Great Wall of China, the Summer Palace and the Confucian Temple at Qufu.The Yellow Crane Tower was originally built as a military lookout post during the Three Kingdoms period (220-280). Once the yellow crane left it never returned, for one thousand years the clouds wandered without care.By the time of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), it had already become a famous sightseeing spot. The clear river reflects each Hanyang tree, fragrant grasses lushly grow on Parrot Island. The mist covered river causes one to feel distressed.What is most interesting about this banknote is that the vignette (enlarged detail above) was based on a painting (detail above) by a 19th century English artist.The illustration "Cotton Plantations in Ning-po" by Thomas Allom (1804-1872) (Chinese name: 托玛斯阿罗姆) was published in in 1845.