Golden Horse and Green Rooster Gate

Golden Horse and Green Rooster Gate
Golden Horse and Green Rooster Gate

The Golden Horse and Green Rooster Gate is actually a pair of gates, or arches, that can be found at the crossings of Sanshi Street and Jinbi Road in the Chinese city of Kunming. Also known as the Jinma Biji archways, these gates frame Jinma Biji Square, and together with the square, they figure among the main symbols of the city.

The Golden Horse and Green Rooster Gate archways were built some 400 years ago during the reign of Emperor Xuande and are reflective of the traditional kind of architecture that was made popular during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Both are wonderfully ornate and provide a delightful contrast to the more modern downtown buildings. They also lend to the popularity of Jinma Biji Square as a Kunming meeting spot.

In relation to the name "Jinma Biji," it is reflective of two area mountains that are known as Jinma Mountain and Biji Mountain in the Western Hills. These mountains are found on either side of Lake Dian. Jinma means Golden Horse, while Biji means Jade Rooster. According to legend, a golden horse emerged from the sun and a green rooster emerged from the moon. These magical creatures brought prosperity to Kunming and serve to protect the city’s people in an allegorical way. The square is located in the city center within walking distance of many attractions, including temples, pagodas, and museums.

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