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0178 History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2
History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2 / Page 178 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000210
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pleased. He would give orders that no-one should disturb us. Finally, he commanded an officer to take us round the park and show us the famous sights.

We began with the main buildings of the Imperial Palace, admiring especially the tastefully decorated throne-room, in which the throne still stands. The walls of this room, both inside and out, are of wonderfully carved wood, while the panels of the ceiling are all carved in different patterns. The pavilions were raised up on terraces about three feet high, and the courtyards surrounding them were paved with stone. Scattered groves of pines and firs heightened the effect.

Tsung-ching-ko, the Copper Temple, was part of a small sanctuary in the entrance-hall of which four giant guardians in coloured costumes and armed with awe-inspiring weapons faithfully kept watch. These images were very well preserved.

Then we walked up a long, gently sloping stone-paved path to the foot of a hill at least one hundred meters above the level of the surrounding country. At

its summit was Kuang-yüan-kung, a temple consisting of several small, neat pavil-

ions which had formerly been very elegant, but were now almost completely ruined. From the highest of these we could see as far as the horizon on all sides; and the

palace-park was spread out below us as on a map. One could see the irregular, winding lakes, now dried up, which in former times had added to the charm and variety of the Imperial Park.

Near the highest pavilion was the palace-wall, following the tops of the hills. 'The view was magnificent. On the other side of the Lion Valley lay the Potala and the Hsin-kung with their many temple-buildings and green trees.

The period of Jehol's splendour was in the reigns of the two great Emperors K'ANG Hsi and CH'IEN LUNG; and it reached its zenith in the sixty years of the Tatter's occupation of the Dragon Throne. Under the successors of Ci'IEN LUNG the importance of the Summer Palace gradually declined, and ultimately died with KUANG Hsü, the last Manchu emperor but one. In its heyday Jehol was one of the two centres from which the immense empire was governed.

K'ANG Hsi began to build the summer palace in 1703, and by 1711 the work was completed. It then counted thirty-six »beautiful places » or »sights », of which each was given a very poetic sounding name of four characters.

In all things CH'IEN LUNG took his famous grandfather as his model. In his edicts, decrees, and memorial tablets he constantly refers to his `august grandfather, the emperor'. And in his love for Jehol it was quite natural that he should follow in K'ANG Hsi's footsteps. But he went even further still, and did not shrink from spending vast sums on the temple-monasteries, of which the most important will be described in the following, and the thirty-six summer-houses, pavilions and `beautiful places' that, like K'ANG Hsi, he built in the park of the Summer Palace. He gave his new buildings the names of three characters, as poetical as those of his ancestor. He enlarged and beautified the spot; made lakes