Long Corridor in the Summer Palace: The Longest Painted Corridor in the World2016-04-25 10:06:59Share:
The long corridor in the Summer Palace [Photo Alboms] actually is a long covered Walkway (a long walkway with a cover on the top). It starts from the gate of greeting the moon (Yaoyuemen) in the east, and ends near the pavilion of Mr. Stone, somewhere near the marble boat in the west. It is 728 meters long with 273 sections, so it is popularly known as “long corridor”. It is the longest, biggest and most famous one in china and even in the world.
The long corridor lies in front of longevity hill, with the gate of dispelling clouds in the center, and four double eaved octagonal pavilions along the long corridor. They are respectively named: Liujia, Jilan, Qiushui, and Qingyao, symbolizing the four seasons of the year. These beautiful pavilions are also used as supports for the long corridor as well as serving as the linking points to level the uneven ground between the pavilions. Architecturally speaking, the long corridor does separate longevity hill from Kunming Lake, but it is also like a colorful ribbon linking the architecture and the natural landscape.
The long corridor was first built in 1750 by Emperor Qianlong for his mother to enjoy the rainy scenes on Kunming Lake and to shade her from the sunshine in summer.
There are totally over 14,000 paintings and pictures, including both larger and small paintings and pictures, painted on the beams and crossbeams of the long corridor. Of the 14,000 paintings, there are more than 8,000 large paintings. Each of these painting is different from one another, with almost no repetitions, making the corridor a real art gallery.
The paintings in the long corridor covered a wide range of subjects from birds, flowers, trees, mountains, rivers and human figures. These colorful paintings can be divided into four categories: landscapes and scenic spots; beautiful flowers and birds; Chinese architecture; human figures and classical stories.
The most fascinating among these paintings are the paintings depicting Chinese historical figures, folk and legendary stories and the scenes from traditional operas. All of these cover thousands of years of Chinese history. The beautiful flowers, birds and landscapes were copied from the scenery of the west lake in Hangzhou which was dome by the court painters who followed Emperor Qianlong during his inspection trips to the south of the Yangtze River. Whenever Emperor Qianlong saw a beautiful scenic spot, or something he liked very much, he would order the court painters to draw sketches. That is why there are many paintings of scenic spots and housing architecture, from the southern part of our country, painted on the long corridor.
After 1949, the long corridor was restored and repainted in 1959 and 1979 respectively. In 2006, its third time restoration was completed. Afterwards, the large and small paintings and pictures on the long corridor altogether totaled over 14,000 pieces. In 1900, the long corridor was listed in the “Guinness world records” as the longest painted corridor in the world, and in 1998, it was listed as a world cultural heritage site by UNESCO.
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