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Hall of Dispelling Clouds

2016-01-08 14:15:18Share:

  The name of the Hall of Dispelling Clouds(排云殿) derives from a verse by the poet Guo Pu (276-324) in the Jin Dynasty ' in such a splendid hall, supernatural beings will emerge. It is situated on the central axis of Longevity Hill and is the heart of a succession of buildings used for celebrations. Built on the site of Daxiong Hall (Hall of Sakyamuni or Main Shrine Hall), it was the place to celebrate Empress Dowager Cixi 's birthday. On her birthday, October 10 of the Chinese lunar year, with Emperor Guangxu leading the troops, all ranks kowtowed to her as she sat on the "Nine-Dragon Throne" to receive greetings and rare gifts.

 

  With red pillars and yellow tiles, the Paiyundian contains 21 rooms. In front of the hall are white marble balusters supporting a flat roof on which bronze dragons, phoenixes, and vessels stand.

 

  Although the treasures on display inside are fewer than those in the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity , some of them are more valuable. The middle rosewood throne with a dragon-in-clouds design, gorgeous sculpture, and fluid lines, is regarded as superlative work of art. On the sides of the throne stand two agalwood serving women, each holding articles shaped in the Chinese character "shou (longevity)." There are also a fine screen, mandarin fans, and a large canvas of Cixi by a Dutch painter.

 

 

  To the south of the Hall of Dispelling Clouds is the Gate of Dispelling Clouds positioned in the middle of the Long Gallery to divide the gallery's eastern and western sides. On each side of the gate lie bronze lions symbolizing protection, and twelve stone statues of the Chinese zodiac animals -- rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

 

  Although this is the most magnificent architectural complex of the Summer Palace, Cixi used the hall only once a year on her birthday.