"The Summer Palace - The Long Corridor" Top 5 Page for this destination Summer Palace Tip by mke1963
Summer Palace, Beijing: 311 reviews and 620 photos
The southern aspect Leshoutang, Dowager-Empress Cixi's residence, is the landing jetty for her boat, and just to its left, around the narrow walkway is the beautiful two-storeyXjiailou, or Pavilion of Blessed Sunset, from where Cixi watched the sun descending over the Western Hills.
But one of the most fascinating parts of the whole Summer Palace is also one of the simplest structures: the Long Corridor that runs 728 metres along the northern bank of the lakeside, joining a series of pavilions and minor residences. This Corridor is the most obvious, yet least authentic, copy of the siuthern Chinese style of garden. In classic imperial style, the emperor wanted to recreate the narrow corridors favoured in the southern gardens, yet in creating a Long Corridor that was straight, he missed the point of these corridors, which was to break up long vistas into smaller panoramas or create the impression of larger scenes in a small space. The Long Corridor does neither: it is just, well, a long corridor. However, the inability to faithfully recreate a classical Chinese feature resulted in th construction of something unique. The Long Corridor was first built in 1750, and the interior is covered in Suzhou-style paintings - these are more true to character. However, in such a huge construction, it is not surprising that the painters ran out of standard garden and religious scees, and used artistic licence to create all sorts of bizarre scenes. It really is worth taking the Long Corridor very slowly and looking closely at some of the 14,000 paintings.
The four pavilions along the corridor each represent the four seasons: Liujiating, the Pavilion of Lingering Scenery represents spring; Jilanting, the Paviliion Giving Expression to the Orchid summer; Qiushuiting, the Pavilion of Autumn Dew autumn; Qingyaoting, the Pavilion of the Clear View, winter. The latter two are beyond the central complex of buildings.
Immediately behind the Long Corridor are a series of smaller residences for members of the imperial family.
Address: Yiheyuan Lu, Northwest Beijing
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