"Watch Towers of the Forbidden City" Top 5 Page for this destination History Tip by nepalgoods

History, Beijing: 8 reviews and 9 photos

  Watcch Tower
by nepalgoods
  • Watcch Tower - Beijing
      Watcch Tower
    by nepalgoods
  • Watchtower - Beijing
    by nepalgoods

The Imperial Palace is full of stories and fairy tales.

About the watch towers I have heard the following story:

When the walls of the Forbidden City were buiilt, they first had no towers. But then the emperor dreamed, that the walls had the most beautiful watch towers, one at each corner. So he gave the order to build those towers.

Two architects build very beautiful towers. But everytime they finished their work, the towers did not look like the ones, the emperor dreamed of. The emeperor was not satified with the managers and killed them and their craftsmen.

The third manager, he asked, had prepared himself. He knew, that, when he failed, he would be killed, too. He was very worried, when one day he saw an old man with a grasshopper in a cage. The cage was beautifully woven of thin sorghum stalks with eight sides and eight more at every corner. The roof was divided into three storeys: the first had upturned eaves on its four sides, and each of the four corners also had four small upturned eaves; the second was very much like the first, except that on its four small upturned eaves were four triangular ridgepoles; like the second, the third hat four triangular ridgepoles, but on the ridgepoles were four more triangular ridgepoles, and on each of them stood four level ridgepoles.

That cage looked exactly like the emperor had discribed his dream. The manager and his craftsmen built the watchtowers according to the cage. The emperor was satisfied and the craftsmen stayed alive.

On the photos you can see one of these watch towers to the right. The big building is one of the magazins of the palace.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 15, 2003
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