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Secrets of the Summer Palace

2016-11-10 15:19:43Share:

  Why is the emperor's bedroom so small?

 

  As you walk in the Forbidden City and look at the emperor’s studyroom and bedroom, you will be surprised to find that the emperor's living place is not much larger than ours, merely 10 square meters or so. Insleep, two drapes areput down in front of the Dragon bed, which makes the space narrower.

the secrets of the Summer Palace

 

  The whole country is the emperor’s, why being so ruthless on their own?

 

  In fact, from the perspective of FengShui,the size of the house must be proportional to the number of people living there. That is, the bigger the house, the more people should stay, which is what we called “flourishing popularity”. Emperor’s flesh and blood is not much better than ordinary people,in order to save physical fitness, to achieve the purpose of health and longevity, so he could only live in a small space.

 

  But is the reason really bekeeping smaller in order to prevent the "big house sucks popularity”?

 

  Experts say that the real reason for smell bedroom is to keep warm. In Ming and Qing dynasties, the temperature is generally lower than minus 10 degree Celsius in winters in Beijing, much colder than the temperature in globe warming. The characteristics of the northern residential houses is also small and narrow, the size is moderate and the sun can shine into the room making the main room warm in winters and cool in summers, courtyard is a place for outdoor activities.Thus, the emperor's space is not just that little bedroom, but the whole courtyard.

 

  What is the secret of the Nine-Dragon Screen in the National Palace Museum?

 

  The Nine-Dragon Screen was built in the 37th year in Qianlong period Qing dynasty, outside Ningshou Palace. In the middle, the dragon is called The Dragon, made by yellow glazed tiles, representing the emperor himself. therefore, nine and five together, is the symbol of respect.

 

  Different colors of dragons on both sides of the screen called ascend dragon and descend dragon, representing the Eight Banners. Therefore, the Nine-Dragon Screen was not casually built, but with meanings.

the secrets of the Summer Palace

 

  However, there is a shocking secret hidden in the screen. The third white dragon from the east, look closely at the abdomen, is there a tile different from the rest? It is not because of the delayed maintenance that caused color distortion, but it is not a glazed tile after all. Isn’t that shocking? At that time, it was a death penalty. Who dared to deceive the emperor!

 

  It is said that when Emperor Qianlong ordered the construction of the Nine Dragon Wall, only gave a very short time, and burning different colors of glasses was not a simple matter back then, each piece of glass acquireddifferentsoils, furnace and different burning time to make the color even. As all artisans working days and nights, one accidentally broke one piece of white glass. This was such a disaster, if they were to remake the piece, it would take more time so that the deadline would be missed and it was a death penalty.

 

  As the situation was heading nowhere, a man named Ma Chunde came up with a brilliant idea, which was to carve a dragon abdominal shaped piece using a Nanmu and paint it white. You would not recognize it if you are not a professional. By this way, Emperor Qianlong was cheated by them and also, they escaped from death.

 

  Nowadays, the fake glaze is still there in the dragon’s abdomen. You would never find out if it was not for long-time color distortion.

 

  Why there are seventeen holes in the Seventeen-Arch bridge?

 

  Walking into the Summer Palace, you will see a very long bridge-the Seventeen Arch Bridge. It is said that when the bridge was building, it was pictured as the turtle neck shape. And the two ends, the Kuoru Pavilion and South Lake Island are equivalent to the shell and head, meaning longevity.

the secrets of the Summer Palace

 

  Why was it built with seventeen arches?

 

  Looking closely, what do you see? Among the 17 arches, the middle one is the biggest. Counting to the sides, there are eight pairs of small holes. These eight pairs plus the middle one equals the number nine.

 

  With the same meaning of the Nine-Dragon Wall, nine also means the emperor, so Seventeen Holes Bridge design is symbolic for the emperor.

 

  Moreover, in order to make a 150-meter-long bridge stand across the Kunming lake, the architects must also had taken full account of a variety of architectural, mechanical and other factors. When you look carefully, you will always find extraordinary traits.

 

  There is a birthday peach in the Summer Palace?

 

  To the Summer Palace visitors, few people know that its layout implied "longevity" pattern.

 

  According to the architectural designer whose family had served the royal family for seven generations, when they were building the Summer Palace for the empress Cixi’s birthday, the emperor ordered to reflect “blessing, position and longevity” in the design. The 7th generation of house Lei, Lei Tingchang came up a brilliant idea to complete the task.

the summer palace peach

 

  He designed an artificial lake that was dug into a peach shape. In the plain ground you cannot see the whole picture. But looking from the Longevity Hill, a birthday peach is right in front of you. The Seventeen Holes Bridge is connecting the island, which was designed into a turtle shape. The bridge is the turtle neck, meaning longevity. As for the word "blessing", Lei Tingchang made the two sides of Fuxiang Chamber the shape of bat wings, together all makes it a bat. Bat pronounces the same as “blessing”, so matching the meanings.

 

  What is the secret of the twelve bronze animal fountainheads in the Old Summer Palace?

 

  The twelve bronze animal fountainheads were designed and made by Italian Giuseppe Castiglione in Qianlong period, Qing dynasty. The bronze statues are not only ornaments but also a part of the fountain outside Haiyan Room.This fountain is not an ordinary fountain, but anautomatically water timer- “water clock”.

 

  The twelve animal heads have bodies made out of stone, wearing robes. The heads are realistic style. They are so exquisite that the shrinks and face hairs are perfectly detailed. Red bronze was selected to build the animal heads for its deep appearance color, fine material that would not rust for centuries.

 

  As we all know, the ancients divided the day into twelve hours, respectively corresponding to the twelve Chinese zodiac, and those twelve heads is the first twelve animals in line with the ancient way of timing. According to historical records, the Old Summer Palace Zodiac animal statue was "eight" -shaped scattered on both sides of the fountain stone platform, each animal is a fountain trigger. Every hour, the corresponding animals will be spitting water out of the mouthfor Hour. until noon, twelve animals spit water all together and it is spectacular. This special clock with the Zodiac statue spitting wateras times is world-famous.

 

  It is worth mentioning that the original Castiglione was to build a naked female sculpture with Western characteristics, butemperorQianlong considered that was contrary to China's ethics, so ordered to redesign, and now we have this zodiac statue.