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Legend of the Seventeen-Arch Bridge in the Summer Palace

2016-08-22 16:27:59Share:

  The 17-Arch Bridge is a masterpiece of the ancient Chinese bridge construction. It connect the east coast of Kunming Lake to the South Lake Island in the Summer Palace at Beijing's Haidian District.



  It was built in the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty. And it’s the largest stone bridge in the Summer Palace.It’s said thatthey invited many excellent craftsmen when building the bridge.As the saying goes: common people do their best efforts for one emperor’s simple order.


  Thegleamingwhite marbles was mined from Fangshan by hand, and transported by feet .


  One day, an old man about 70 yearsoldwith a long hair and an ugly face came to the construction site.


  He was carrying a tool box, walked while crying: "Is there anyone want to buy Longmen stone? Who want the Longmen stone? "


  People on the site thought he ismad and ignored him, because heis too dirty.


  The old man walked around at the site about three days, and cried for three days. But nobody cared still.


  This old man leaved the site carrying a tool box. Hewent to east to liulangzhuang and stayed under a large tree.


  He slept under the tree andchiselled the Longmen stone everday.


  One day at dusk, it rained heavily. The wind and rain made the old man cannot open his eyes .He held his head in his hands sating down under the tree.


  Uncle Wang from village west feel sorry about him and let the old man live and eat with him.


  The old mason moved to Uncle Wang’s house and lived for a year .During this year , he never forgot chiseling the Longmen stone.


  One morning, he said to uncle Wang:"I’m going to leave today.The kindness ofeating your food and living in yourhouse I will never forget.I have nothing in return except this stone ! Please keep it!”


  Uncle Wang looked at the Longmen stone and said:"It is your one-year’s effort. You should take it away ! Besides , I have no use of it.”


  The old man said:"On the right time, someone will spend more than one hundred taels of silver on it!”


  Then he went away to the south.


  In this moment, the construction of the 17-Arch Bridge in the Summer Palace was nearing completion.


  It’s said that the emperor Qian Long is going to celebrate the completion.However, the stone in the middle of the bridge can not be fixed .The engineering director worried a lot.


  At this time, someone remembered of the old man. And then, the directorbegan to send people to find him.Finally the engineering director came to Uncle Wang.


  He saw theLongmen stone under thewindow on the first sight.After measured, he found that the length and thickness areperfect as if it was designed for the bridge!


  The director was so happy and said:"This is the man who came down from heaven to fix the bridge!I will pay you as much money as you want!”


  Uncle Wang said:"You don't have to give me too much. That old mason lived in my house for a year , then you can give me the food paying.”


  The director paid one hundred taels of silver for the Longmen stone and fixed the bridge.All Masons and bricklayersrelaxed: thank god ! We don’t have to die!


  While everyone was happy, there was an old mason knew something suddenly : "This old man is Lu ban!”


  Since then,the story circulates among the people.


  Standing on the bridge, do you have a different experience?

The Imperial Gardens