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0179 History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2
History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2 / Page 179 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000210
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with artificial islands and arched bridges; assembled the most priceless collection of objets d'art to be found throughout China in the new palace; and added rare manuscripts and books, illustrations and maps to the Summer Palace Library. In a word, he made Jehol a pearl among the towns of China; and it is said that in riches and rare and precious objects it could even vie with Peking. On the way from Ku-pei-k'ou to Jehol, and from there to the hunting preserves of Mulan, he added three more to the already existing rest-pavilions and hunting-lodges.

The pagoda of nine storeys near the north-east corner of the palace-grounds belonged to Yung-yu-ssu, the Temple of Eternal Protection that was built in 1751 and contained a record-tablet in Manchu, Chinese, Mongol and Tibetan. The pagoda itself occasioned the emperor considerable trouble. According to the record-tablet, he wished to build it after the models he had seen on his visit to the south—possibly in Soochow or Hangchow. But the builders of the north were not used to that technique, and their work collapsed. After some years, perhaps after architects had been called in from the Yangtze provinces, the pagoda was completed in 1764. The emperor had always declared himself a Buddhist; but now, in an outburst of candour, he admitted on the record-tablet that he was no believer in Buddhism.

Truly, Jehol, the Imperial City, is unique among cities of the past. But what a melancholy experience it is to wander through the scattered parks of Pi-shushan-chuang, listening to the echoes of its vanished greatness!


On June 28th, Father MULLIE, who is a sinologue of vast and profound erudition, took us to the real goal of our pilgrimage, the Potala Temple. We drove through a labyrinth of narrow alleys and over small stone bridges. On our left we passed the main gate of the park of the Imperial Summer Palace. Immediately opposite this entrance to the yamen, a stone bridge spanned the Jehol river (J e-ho) . Our road led north, between two well-preserved walls, the one on the left surrounding the Summer Palace park, the one on the right built as a protection against the river. Without this protection the flood-water resulting from heavy rains would cover the road and cut off communication between the town and the temples, and perhaps even threaten the town itself.

A stately marble bridge led over the streamlet in the bottom of the Lion Valley, a tributary to the Je-ho; and in a few moments we stopped before the eastern gate in the wall surrounding the Potala temple-monastery. Even at the first glance the Potala impressed us as being vast and imposing to a degree. Certainly its splendour was tarnished; the numerous temples bore the impress of decay; and