Birthplace of the Nanzhao Kingdom
Located 52 kilometers south of Dali, the picturesque town of Weishan used to be an important and wealthy trading town during the powerful Nanzhao Kingdom throughout the 8th and 9th century. The area around Weishan is also regarded as the birthplace of Xinulou, the first emperor and founder of the Nanzhao Kingdom.
With the downfall of the Nanzhao Kingdom, Weishan lost its importance. It came into the spotlight again when it became an important military outpost for the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Today the town centre is marked by the imposing Gong Chen Lou City Gate, which was built in 1390 (Ming Dynasty). Gong Chen Lou used to be the Eastern entrance to the city and was part of a long since disappeared city wall that once surrounded the town.
The local people are mainly members of the Yi and the Hui ethnic minorities. 14 kilometers outside of town is Weibaoshan, one of the 14 sacred Daoist Mountains in China. Weibaoshan is also regarded as the birthplace of the Nanzhao Kingdom. It is said that Weibaoshan was the inspiration for Xinulou to found of the powerful Nanzhao Kingdom that lasted for 13 generations.