Located towards the southwest of Hubei province, Enshi Prefecture is Hubei's southwestern "panhandle". The prefecture shares its border with Hunan towards the south, and Chongqing Municipality towards the west and northwest, with the Yangtze River flowing through Enshi’s northeastern corner in Badong County.
A poet who lived during the Tang Dynasty described Enshi as “endless green mountains to walk on, endless clear water going away”. During the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-1945), the provincial government of Hubei was relocated to Enshi Prefecture. Even the Diocese of Shinan belonged to where Enshi situates now. The Deng Yujiao incident which happened on May 10, 2009, took place in Badong County, which falls under the administration of the Enshi Prefecture.
With a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate, the city of Enshi has short, cool winters and hot, humid summers. The city experiences high humidity throughout the year. The average monthly temperature ranges from 5.0-26.7 °C from January through August, and the annual mean temperature is recorded at 16.18°C. The months from May to September experience almost 2/3rds of the annual precipitation of 1,470mm. The average monthly percentage of sunshine ranges from 12-50% from January through August. Enshi’s annual bright sunshine hours are recorded at 1,212, with the months from July to September receiving the most sunshine.
The Enshi Prefecture, a mountainous belt situated towards the west end of Hubei, separates the Jianghan Plain of Hubei from the Sichuan Basin. Karst phenomena can be seen in the region. Tenglong Cave near Lichuan, in the Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, is a popular monomer karst cave system. Luoquanyan village in Xuan'en County has a 290-meter deep karst sinkhole towards the southwest of Hubei Province. The undisturbed location and favorable growing conditions of the underground landscape have made it a botanical wonder.
The 108-km long Enshi Grand Canyon has an incredible karst formation cliffs and spires. The ‘One Incense Pillar’, a 150-meter tall and four-meter wide stick-shaped structure in the Grand Canyon, has withstood several earthquakes and has stood in the canyon for more than a thousand years. The local residents regard the pillar as an incense stick and believe that it was given to them by a deity, to get through various disasters and crises faced by them.
This fabled church is also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross) Church
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