The Garden of Harmonious Interest2016-06-01 14:12:00Share:
The Garden of Harmonious Interest at the Summer Palace is also known as “the garden within a garden”, a typical imperial garden in the Qing dynasty. It was built to imitate the famous “Jichang Garden” at Huishan in Wuxi, Jiangsu province. So originally it was named “Hui Shan Garden.”
In the Qing Dynasty, Emperor Qianlong went to south china for inspection for the first time and resided in Jichang Garden in his grandfather’s calligraphy, he loved it so much.
Since Emperor Qianlong loved the architectural art of the garden, he ordered his architects to imitate the Jichang Garden and had a similar garden built in the garden of Clear Ripples in Beijing and named it “Hui Shan Garden.”
After the renovation in 1811, under the reign of Emperor Jiaqing, the son of Emperor Qianlong, the name of the garden was changed to the “Garden of Harmonious Interests.”
In 1860, the garden was burnt down by the Anglo-French Allied Forces and was rebuilt later under the order of Empress Dowager Cixi. When she stayed in the summer palace, the dowager used to come here and enjoy herself by fishing for pleasure and relaxation. Sometimes the dowager came here to take her nap after watching operas on the big stage.
The studio of distant views was built on an elevation which overlooks the roads outside the Summer Palace walls. It was the place for Empress Dowager Cixi to come on the 8th day of the fourth month of the lunar calendar every year to watch the crowds of people going to the temple-fair at Miaofeng Hill. Therefore, it was given the name of Kanhuilou(Tower of Watching the Temple Fair).
In the Garden of Harmonious Interest people can see the fish pond with gold fish and lotus flowers; sweeping willows and green pine trees along the bank; artificial rockeries by the side of the paths; halls, pavilions and bridges. All of them show the atmosphere of the south china garden.
The garden is famous for its 8 “interests.”
(1) Interest of the four seasons: the scenery of the four seasons is shown in this garden.
(2) Interest of water: the falling water from back lake makes a musical sound like a zither.
(3) Interest of bridge: there are 7 or 8 bridges with different styles in this garden. The longest bridge is about 20 meters and the shortest one is less than 2 meters. The most interesting bridge, “knowing-fish-bridge” is in this garden.
(4) Interest of calligraphy: people can see many masterpieces of calligraphy; some of them were written by Qing Emperor Qianlong in this garden.
(5) Interest of pavilion: inside the garden, there is a building named “fresh view tower”. The most interesting thing is that if you look at the building from inside, you will find it is a two-story building, but if you look at it from outside, it looks like a single-story building.
(6) Interest of painting: there are hundreds of paintings in the buildings and in the corridors.
(7) Interest of corridor: the halls and pavilions are linked by zigzag galleries.
(8) Interest of imitation: the Garden of Harmonious Interest is an imitation of Jichang Garden in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, but it has exceeded it.
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