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In 1078 Su Shi, the governor of Xuzhou, had Huang Tower built by the east gate of Xuzhou with funds left over from repairing the Huanghe dikes after a big flood that summer. Su obviously enjoyed the vista from this tower as a number of his poems attest. Su Zhe, Su's brother, also wrote a poem here while visiting Su, titled Ode to Huang Tower.

Since earth can overcome water, the tower was smeared with yellow earth, thereby it's name Huanglou or Yellow Tower. Enjoying the moon from the Huang Tower has become one of the eight popular sights in Xuzhou.

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