My 2021 edition of the Forbidden City stickers, the 17th volume of the serial "Looking at the Red Walls and Gold Tiles, Appreciating the Ming and Qing Palaces", has been generously read by many readers. Among them, some readers put forward some opinions and suggestions, and pointed out some fallacies. This revised edition is republished on the second quarter, adopting the opinions and suggestions of previous readers, enriching some content, correcting clerical errors, and updating and supplementing some pictures. Although I dare not say that all the fallacies have been corrected, most of them should have been corrected. Remember in detail the architectural art of ancient Chinese top palaces seen in the Ming and Qing palaces, some royal cultural relics exhibited in the Forbidden City, and the traces of royal life in the Qing palace, and also think of some stories and legends that happened in the Ming and Qing palaces. Readers", just want to share with readers. thanks.


Go back to Dongyi Changjie from Yanxi Palace and continue to go north. The second alley gate on the east side is Guangsheng Left Gate, and turning into it is Dongerheng Alley. The first courtyard gate in this alley is Chengqian Gate, which is Chengqian Palace.

Inside Chengqian Gate is a wooden screen wall.

Chengqian Palace was also built by Emperor Yongle, and it was originally called Yongning Palace. "Chengqian" means to follow the sky, to follow the will of heaven.

The architectural layout and structure of Chengqian Palace are the same as those of Jingren Palace. The Danbi stone in the middle of the platform in front of the main hall does not have white marble railings, but is engraved with double phoenixes.

In Jingren Palace, there is a double dragon and flat chess ceiling, and in Chengqian Palace, there is a painted group of crane and flat chess, which symbolizes longevity.

Take a look at Zhenshun Zhai and the ear room in the east side hall of the front yard.

Check out the backyard.

The scale of the apse is larger than that of Jingren Palace, and it has a front eaves corridor. There is a well on the west side of the backyard, and traces of pillar foundations can be seen at the four corners, indicating that this is a well pavilion. There is such a well pavilion in each of the six east and west palaces. It is not known when the pavilion here was destroyed. The well pavilion in Jingren Palace is also gone.

Chengqian Palace was once the Bronze Ware Museum of the Forbidden City.

The exhibits inside are the bronze wares collected by the Forbidden City of the past dynasties, the earliest of which began in the pre-Qin period. Legend has it that Xia Yu cast Jiuding, which has long been lost. The earliest complete set of Jiuding that can be seen now should be the Jiuding and Bagui unearthed from the tomb of Zeng Houyi in the early Warring States period. In fact, this is Zenghouyi's usurpation. The etiquette system of the Zhou Dynasty stipulated that the emperor used nine tripods and eight gui, and the princes could only use seven ding and six gui. Take a look at this pre-Qin tripod with animal face patterns exhibited in the Chengqian Palace of the Forbidden City.

In the first year of Emperor Chongzhen at the end of Ming Dynasty (1628 A.D.), a concubine named Tian Xiuying was appointed to live in this Yongning Palace. In the fifth year of Chongzhen, it was renamed Chengqian Palace. In less than a year, Chongzhen made her a noble concubine again, and moved to Qixiang Palace, which is now the Taiji Palace. Concubine Tian Gui is versatile, proficient in all kinds of piano, chess, calligraphy and painting, and has four sons, who are deeply loved by Chongzhen. It is said that there is a strange fragrance wafting in the palace of Concubine Tian Gui, because Concubine Tian Guifei is a fragrant concubine of the Ming Dynasty. Due to the loss of three sons in a row, Concubine Tian Guifei died of grief in Chongzhen fifteen years ago, but she escaped the humiliation of subjugation. Concubine Tian Gui was buried in the Concubine Garden of Chongzhen in the Ming Tombs after her death. At that time, Chongzhen had not yet built the mausoleum. After the martyrdom of Emperor Chongzhen and Empress Zhou, Li Zicheng entered Beijing to collect the remains of the emperor and empress. Because there was no emperor's mausoleum, the tomb of Concubine Tian Gui was opened and Emperor Chongzhen and Empress Zhou were buried there. After Qing Shunzhi entered the customs, the ground building of Tian Guifei's tomb was built, named Ming Siling Mausoleum. In the early Qing Dynasty, the "Third Prince Zhu" frequently launched activities to overthrow the Qing Dynasty and expel the Manchus. That "Third Prince Zhu" was actually Zhu Cizhen (Nian Zhao), the fourth son of the emperor who was born to Concubine Tian Gui.

After Qing Shunzhi entered Beijing, Concubine Dong E lived here. Concubine Dong E traveled south with her father since she was a child, and grew up in the south of the Yangtze River. She was greatly influenced by Han culture, and she was able to read and write well. When Shunzhi was nineteen years old, he made eighteen-year-old Concubine Dong E a noble concubine. According to legend, Shunzhi abolished the original queen, and wanted to make Concubine Dong E the second queen, but failed. The later queen was still a relative of the Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang. In fact, it is wrong. The second queen of Shunzhi was called Empress Xiaohuizhang, who was established in the eleventh year of Shunzhi (AD 1654). Concubine Dong E only entered the palace in the thirteenth year of Shunzhi. Shunzhi loved Concubine Dong E very much, but he did not delay having children with her other concubines. Concubine Dong E grew up in the south of the Yangtze River, and she was as weak and sick as Lin Daiyu. After finally giving birth to a son, she died early, causing Concubine Dong E to die of grief. Because news of Shunzhi and Concubine Dong E's friendship spread outside the palace, folklore Shunzhi couldn't bear the death of Concubine Dong E, so he became a monk. When I was visiting Mount Wutai, monks from three different temples said that Shunzhi was in their temples. The legend in the palace is that Shunzhi was going to Wutai Mountain, but everyone refused to let him go, and finally sent an eunuch to go for him. In fact, because Shunzhi was busy with the funeral of Concubine Dong E, he often went out of the palace, supervised the monks' practice in Jingshan Guande Hall, and was busy chasing Concubine Dong E's posthumous title. Coupled with the decline in resistance due to sadness, Shunzhi was passed on to smallpox by someone who killed thousands of swords outside. Six months after the death of Concubine Dong E, Shunzhi also died, and the two were buried together in the Xiaoling Mausoleum of the Eastern Tomb of the Qing Dynasty, with Tong Jia, Kangxi's biological mother, in it. Shunzhi believed in Buddhism, he, Dong E and Tong Jia were all cremated in the end, and the ashes of the three were buried in Xiaoling. The jar containing the emperor's body is called Zigong, and the jar containing the emperor's ashes is called Baogong. Shunzhi didn't want to be buried in a thick way, and there were not many funeral objects, so it escaped the Dongling robbers during the Republic of China. The Xiaoling Mausoleum is the only Dongling that has not been stolen, and it is the only mausoleum in Chinese history that contains the emperor's ashes.

When Kangxi was in power, Concubine Tong Gui lived here. In the seventeenth year of Kangxi (AD 1768), the second queen, Niu Colu, passed away. Emperor Kangxi did not stand up again. Concubine Tong Gui always acted as queen and was the closest woman of Emperor Kangxi. In the twenty-eighth year of Kangxi, when Concubine Tong Guifei finally became terminally ill, she saw that she had less air to breathe and more to breathe out, so Kangxi hurriedly canonized her as a queen, and died the next day. During the Yongzheng period, concubine Yu lived here, who was later promoted to concubine Yu. During the Qianlong period, Concubine Shu first lived here, and later concubine Wei Jia lived in, and Concubine Shu moved to Yongshou Palace. After the concubine Ling, the concubine Wan lived here. Concubine Yu of Qianlong also lived in Chengqian Palace, I don't know if it was before or after Lingfei. In the first month of the tenth year of Qianlong (1745 A.D.), Wei Jia was granted the title of nobleman of Wei, and within a year he was immediately promoted to be a concubine. Something must have happened in this year that made Qianlong burn himself. In the fourteenth year of Qianlong's reign, the imperial concubine was named concubine Ling. From the concubine to the top, there are books, called canonization. Ten years later, in the twenty-fourth year of Qianlong's reign, the concubine Ling was promoted to the noble concubine Ling and moved from Chengqian Palace to Chuxiu Palace; It's true that Concubine Ling is favored by the emperor. She gave birth to four sons and two daughters in ten years. I think she died of exhaustion after giving birth. After the death of concubine Ling in the 40th year of Qianlong, the emperor immediately named her the imperial concubine Lingyi. "Yi" means great beauty, and it is usually used together with the word "de", called "Yide". In October of the 60th year of Qianlong, Lao Gan did several important things. The first is to visit the tomb of Empress Fucha. This is something to tell his favorite empress. The second thing is that after returning from the tomb sweeping, the royal concubine Lingyi will be presented as the queen of Xiaoyi, that is, the concubine Ling will be juxtaposed with the empress Fucha, and she will be buried with him in the future. The third thing is to announce his retirement and give the emperor's throne to Concubine Ling's son Yongyan. Qianlong's canonization of Empress Xiaoyi was a bit special. In the past, when he was canonizing concubines, the inscriptions had to say "by the empress dowager". When the empress was canonized this time, the book said "mother agrees to hang down the ceremony", because the Empress Dowager Chongqing is no longer there, and she can't issue an edict. I don't know how she "allowed".

Emperor Shunzhi's favorite concubine Dong E lived here, Kangxi's closest concubine Tong lived here, and Qianlong also arranged for his favorite concubine Ling to live here. Chengqian Palace seems to be the place where the most favored concubine lives. In the Jiaqing Dynasty, it was Niu Colu's family when she was a royal concubine. In the fourth year of Jiaqing (1799), she was registered as the second queen, Empress Rui. During the reign of Emperor Daoguang, there was a concubine Lin who made a mistake and was demoted to a nobleman. In the twenty-fourth year of Daoguang (AD 1840), Linpin gave birth to the seventh son of the emperor, Yixuan (Nian Yixuan), who was named Concubine Lin by Jin Dynasty and lived in Chengqian Palace. Later, he gave birth to another son, who was crowned the imperial concubine in Jin Dynasty. This emperor's seventh son, Yizhen, was later Prince Chun, the biological father of Emperor Guangxu. During the Xianfeng period, several concubines lived here.

After exiting Chengqian Palace, continue walking eastward along East Erheng Alley. After crossing East Erchang Street is Yonghe Palace, which was called Yongan Palace in the early Ming Dynasty. In the 14th year of Jiajing in the Ming Dynasty, Yong'an Palace was renamed Yonghe Palace, which was still used in the Qing Dynasty.

Entering the gate of Yonghe Palace, there is not a screen inside, but a wooden screen door. After passing the wooden screen door is the main hall.

The layout of Yonghe Palace is similar to other palaces. Its most special feature is that three open pavilions are built on the platform in front of the main hall, and the rolling shed is suspended on the top of the mountain. When the Yonghe Palace was repainted in recent years, some old traces remained, allowing you to see the contrast between the old and the new.

There are two wisterias in the front yard of Yonghe Palace, which bloom in spring and are very beautiful, attracting countless Beijing photographers to take pictures.

During the Ming Dynasty, who lived in the Yonghe Palace has been lost. The most famous tenant in the Qing Dynasty was Wu Yashi, the concubine of Emperor Kangxi. The Wu Ya family was a draft girl who entered the palace in the 14th year of Kangxi (AD 1675). She gave birth to the fourth son of the emperor Yinzhen in the 17th year. In the 19th year, Yinzuo, the sixth son of the emperor, was born. In the second year, he was granted the concubine De. In the twenty-seventh year of Kangxi, he gave birth to Yinti, the fourteenth son of the emperor. The fourth son of the emperor Yinzhen ascended the throne as Emperor Yongzheng, and Concubine De became the Empress Dowager and moved to Shoukang Palace. Yongzheng's fourth son, Hongli, had a concubine, Haishi. After Hongli ascended the throne, Qianlong named him Haiguiren. Haigui gave birth to Yongqi, the fifth son of the emperor, who was granted the title of Concubine Yu by the Jin Dynasty and lived in Yonghe Palace. In the sixth year of Daoguang (1826 A.D.), a Jing concubine who was 30 years younger than Emperor Daoguang lived in the Yonghe Palace. She was promoted as a concubine from a nobleman because of her pregnancy. She gave birth to the second son of the emperor, Yigang, in Yonghe Palace, who died the next year, concubine Jing was named Concubine Jing. In the twelfth year of Daoguang, Concubine Jing gave birth to the sixth son of the emperor, Yixin, who survived this time and grew up to be Prince Gong. In the 20th year of Daoguang, Jin conferred the title of Noble Concubine Jing and moved to the Zhongcui Palace behind. Concubine Li of Emperor Xianfeng lived in this Yonghe Palace.

Another concubine who lived here in the Qing Dynasty that we remember was Emperor Guangxu’s Concubine Jin. There was a good thing in Concubine Jin’s dowry, which was the emerald jade cabbage, a peerless treasure, now in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Concubine Jin entered the palace with her younger sister as a concubine, and later they both became concubines. Her younger sister is the famous Concubine Zhen, who lives in the Jingren Palace in front of her, separated by an alley. Although Concubine Jin is emancipated, she is still a stubborn royalist. After the Qing emperor abdicated, she also moved around to restore the throne, married her niece to Pu Jie, and urged Pu Jie to scurry outside the palace. For Concubine Jin’s 50th birthday, she invited artists from North China’s Quyi Lianhualuo to perform. Later, she often sang operas in the Yonghe Palace. The Yonghe Palace troupe is very famous. A year later, Concubine Jin ate too many mooncakes and raw crabs during the Mid-Autumn Festival, so she stopped eating and went back with a cold. Yonghe Palace was a haunted place in the imperial palace in the past. In fact, it was because no one lived after the death of Concubine Jin, and some eunuchs secretly went in and exchanged things for money. When someone came over, these eunuchs would play tricks and frighten people. It is said that the Forbidden City will arrange the Yonghe Palace as it was when Concubine Jin lived, and then reopen it. Then you can go and see the replica of the jade cabbage.

Since the Yonghe Palace is not open, you can only go back to Dongyi Long Street and go north. The next door to the east is Dacheng Left Gate.

All the gates in the streets and alleys have boxes on the gateposts, but there are only two upper and lower corners. Check out its box.

After entering the left gate of Dacheng, go east along Dongsanheng Lane, the first courtyard gate is Zhongcui Gate. Inside Zhongcui Gate must be Zhongcui Palace, "Zhong" means gathering; "Cui" means the essence; it is what Wang Xizhi said, "All the talents come together, and the young and old gather together".

From the outside, this Zhongcui Gate is basically the same as the other gates of the East Six Palaces; but looking inside, it is completely different from the previous palaces. There is a gate hall in this gate, and there is no screen wall. Behind the gate hall is a screen door, which can be closed to block the sight of outsiders. Go in and have a look.

It turns out that from the inside, it is a typical one hall, one coupon hanging flower door, but the outside is connected with a glazed door. One hall, one coupon, and the hanging flower gate are usually connected with a circle of Chaoshou verandah, which is also found here.

Zhongcui Palace was called Xianyang Palace in the early Ming Dynasty, and was renamed Zhongcui Palace in the 14th year of Jiajing (AD 1535). The Zhongcui Palace in the Ming Dynasty had the same layout as other palaces, and the Chaoshou corridor in the front yard was added after the 12th year of Tongzhi in the Qing Dynasty (AD 1873). The main hall of Zhongcui Palace is five rooms wide and three rooms deep, and the main halls of the East and West Palaces are all five rooms wide and three rooms deep. Both the main hall and the east and west side halls have front eaves corridors, so they can be remodeled by adding a circle of verandas. The ear rooms outside the north wall of the East and West side halls were demolished and replaced with corner corridors so that the verandahs can be connected in a circle. Between the eaves and pillars of the veranda, there is a lintel with brocade lattice flowers on the bottom, and an upside-down lintel with brocade lattice flowers on the top. There are ink paintings on the walls of the veranda, flowers, birds, insects and ants, pine, bamboo, plum orchids, and the style is elegant.

Although the main hall has a front eaves corridor, there is no Danbi stone in the middle of the vertical belt on the front. The plaque under the eaves of the main hall reads "Chengxin Zhengxing", and the seal seems to be "The Treasure of the Empress Dowager Cixi's Royal Brush". Here, 澂 is pronounced as "cheng", which means clear, clear and quiet water; this plaque is quite Zen-like. The lattice flowers draped across the back of the plaque are also step-by-step brocade; the lattice flowers on the lintel and glass windows under the plaque are called ice cracks.

The roof beams of this main hall were all built in the eighteenth year of Yongle in the Ming Dynasty. At that time, the interior of the hall was completely exposed and there was no ceiling. That being the case, its inner eaves, beams, beams and purlins must be painted. In the middle of the Ming Dynasty, a relatively high ceiling was installed in the hall, and part of the painted paintings were sealed above the ceiling and preserved, and the painted paintings were repainted below the ceiling. When it was rebuilt in the early Qing Dynasty, the Ming Dynasty ceiling was removed, and a lower ceiling was reinstalled. The old and new paintings of the Ming Dynasty were sealed above the ceiling and preserved, and the paintings were repainted below the ceiling. In the middle of the Qing Dynasty, a layer of silver flower paper called Baitang grate was pasted under the ceiling, and the colored paintings of the early Qing Dynasty were also sealed inside. When the main hall of Zhongcui Palace was rebuilt in 1961 and the ceiling and ceiling were removed, different colored paintings of the early Ming, mid-Ming and early Qing were found. Under the same roof, royal paintings from different periods in the past 600 years are arranged together, which is very precious and rare, and it is also extremely rare in the Forbidden City. At present, only Changchun Palace also has such Ming Dynasty paintings. Because Zhongcui Palace is the residence of concubines, these paintings are all painted by Xuanzi. The current ceiling ceiling was rebuilt according to the height of the mid-Qing Dynasty, and we must not be able to see those ancient paintings. However, it is useless for us to look at it, at most we sigh "It's been a long time". It needs to be shown to ancient architecture experts, so that they can see the gap and evolutionary way between the royal scroll paintings in different periods.

Look again at the backyard.

The well pavilion is still intact. This is the only intact well pavilion in the East Six Palaces. It is not known whether it is the original or a reconstruction. Most of the well pavilions in the Forbidden City are yellow glazed tile single-eave roofs with hollow tops, except for the two well pavilions in the imperial garden. The special feature of the backyard is that there is a platform corridor between the back door of the main hall and the main door of the back hall, which is unique in the East and West Six Palaces. If you pay attention, you will find that the main hall in front and the apse in the backyard are all red pillars and red windows; while the side halls are all green pillars and green windows.

Among the East Six Palaces, I like this Zhongcui Palace the most, because of the circle of copying corridors, the ink paintings on the corridor walls, and the green pillars and green windows of the east and west halls. These elements dilute the majesty and rigidity of the palace, appear relaxed and lively, and make people feel happy.

In the early Ming Dynasty, the emperor's concubines also lived here, and in the later period, it was the palace of the crown prince. Zhu Cihong (Nianlang), the eldest son of Emperor Chongzhen, once lived here. In the 20th year of Kangxi (AD 1681), Concubine Rong, who gave birth to five princes, was granted the title of Concubine Rong by Jin Dynasty and lived in Zhongcui Palace. Concubine Rong entered the palace in the early years of Kangxi, and among the five sons, only the third son of the emperor, Yinzhi, survived. After the death of Kangxi, Concubine Rong moved out of the palace to live in Prince Cheng's Mansion of Yinzhi according to her will, and she lived there forever. In the 20th year of Kangxi, Emperor Kangxi granted the fourth son of the emperor, Yinzhen, the Ulanala clan of Fujin. When Yinzhen ascended the throne of Emperor Yongzheng, the Ulanara family was named the Queen of the Central Palace, that is, Empress Xiaoxian, who lived in Zhongcui Palace and died in the ninth year of Yongzheng. In the twelfth year, Emperor Yongzheng selected a concubine Gao Jia for the fourth prince Hongli. After Qianlong ascended the throne, Gao Jia was named Gao Guifei, who lived in Zhongcui Palace, and was later named Huang Guifei. Concubine Gao Guifei passed away in the tenth year of Qianlong. Later, Concubine Xin, who was granted the title of Jin, lived in Zhongcui Palace. After Qianlong's grandson Minning ascended the throne as Emperor Daoguang, in the first year of the draft, a 14-year-old girl named Niu Gulu, who had developed morality, intelligence and physique, was selected. This is rare in the history of the Qing Dynasty. Less than a year after entering the palace, Concubine Quan was promoted to Concubine Quan, only fifteen years old. Once she became a concubine, she immediately became pregnant, but failed. After a year, she became pregnant again and gave birth to the third princess. Emperor Daoguang was overjoyed, and the Jin conferred the title of Concubine Quan. The imperial concubine was pregnant again like clockwork, and gave birth to the fourth princess. In the end, Concubine Quan became pregnant and gave birth to the fourth son Yi Chi (reading the will). Because the first two princes died early, Yi Chi was the eldest son of Emperor Daoguang, and later became Emperor Xianfeng. Two years later, Emperor Daoguang's empress Tong Jia died, and Concubine Quan was canonized as empress. Empress Quan's first pregnancy was unsuccessful and her health was affected, she was weak and sick. Daoguang died in 30 years at the age of 33. She was posthumously named Empress Xiaoquan. The old saying, "When a person reaches thirty-three, a broken boat crosses dangerous shoals" may have come from the death of the whole queen at thirty-three. After becoming the Empress, Concubine Jing lived in Zhongcui Palace to raise Yi Chi, who was only ten years old. Concubine Jing's sixth son, Yixin and Yipin, grew up together in Zhongcui Palace. Emperor Daoguang issued two orders in the brocade box behind the upright plaque. One was to establish the fourth son, Yipin, as the crown prince; The six sons are Prince Gong. In fact, the sixth son of the emperor, Yi Xin, was smarter than the fourth son, Yi Chi, and he was unwilling to become the emperor. After Yipin became emperor, in the twelfth year of Xianfeng (1862 AD), he gave Yixin the Qingjun Palace, the original Heshen residence, which is now the Prince Gong's Mansion.

Yipin became Emperor Xianfeng, and in the second year, a Niu Gulu family was drafted. He entered the palace in February, concubine Zhen in April, and lived in Zhongcui Palace; concubine Zhen in May, and became empress in October. six years old. Empress Zhen was the fastest-rising empress in the Qing Dynasty, faster than a helicopter. Empress Zhen didn't have any children, but Emperor Xianfeng's concubine Yi, who lived in Chuxiu Palace in the west, gave birth to the only prince Zaichun, who was conferred the title of Noble Concubine Yi by Jin Dynasty. In the eleventh year of Xianfeng, the emperor died. Empress Zhen became the empress dowager, the empress dowager of the East Palace. Zai Chun succeeded to the throne as the Tongzhi Emperor, and his birth mother, Yi Guifei, was the Empress Dowager of the West Palace. In the seventh year of Guangxu, after the death of Empress Dowager Ci'an, Concubine Li of Emperor Xianfeng lived in Zhongcui Palace for a while. For some reason, after the death of Emperor Xianfeng, his concubines lived in the harem instead of Shoukang Palace. Emperor Tongzhi's fate was bitter, and he contracted smallpox before he gave birth to a son at the age of nineteen. The Empress Dowager Cixi was afraid that the power would be lost, so she chose Prince Jin and Prince Jin's son and cousin of Tongzhi Emperor Zai Tian (Nian Tian) as the heir emperor. Prince Jin's son Fujin was the sister of the Empress Dowager Cixi. Zai Tian came to power as Emperor Guangxu, and in the fifteenth year of Guangxu (AD 1889), Cixi appointed his cousin to him as the queen. The cousin entered the palace on the scorched earth of the Taihe Gate in the first month, and was carried into the Zhongcui Palace to rest. After that, Emperor Guangxu and his cousin were given a big gift by Cixi holding their heads in the Kunning Palace, and then they were locked in the new house in Dongnuange for three days. Three days later, Emperor Guangxu and his cousin went back to their respective homes. Guangxu went to the Hall of Mental Cultivation, and his cousin came to Zhongcui Palace to be her Queen Longyu. During this period, Empress Longyu obeyed the order of Empress Dowager Cixi to often go to the Palace of Mental Cultivation. Then he lived in the east side room of the back hall of the Hall of Mental Cultivation, which was the residence of the first empress of the Yongzheng Dynasty. Cixi wanted Queen Longyu to give birth to five princes from the dragon seed, but it was useless. Emperor Guangxu took the dragon seed as soon as he saw Queen Longyu. Concubine Zhen, on the other hand, often went to the Palace of Mental Cultivation, and then lived in the west ear of the back hall and never returned. However, it seems that Guangxu didn't give the dragon species to other concubines, and maybe Guangxu didn't have the dragon species at all. After Guangxu's death, Longyu became the empress dowager and moved from Zhongcui Palace to Changchun Palace. Empress Dowager Longyu was the last empress and empress dowager of the Qing Dynasty, and also the last tenant of Zhongcui Palace. Longyu also pulled down the curtain and listened to Emperor Xuantong's politics for several years, but he didn't listen to the politics, and finally signed the abdication edict. When Longyu signed the edict of abdication, Xuantong was still too young to have any concubines at all. If he had one, he would be a child bride-in-law, which didn't count in the Qing palace. So Longyu is the last queen of China. It was said earlier that Wanrong's official head is Mrs. Pu. Although she was once a false queen in Changchun, she was not a Chinese queen. Calling Wan Rong the last queen of China is completely wrong. Because the last empress of the Qing Dynasty, Longyu, lived in Zhongcui Palace, this is the last empress palace, so it is relatively complete and well preserved. The Hanging Flower Gate, Chaoshou Corridor, and Well Pavilion are all there, and there are front and rear halls connecting platforms that are not found in other palaces.

The Zhongcui Palace has not been restored to its original state. When I came, the Guqin collected by the Forbidden City was exhibited inside. The earliest Guqin was from the Tang Dynasty.

From Zhongcui Palace, continue to walk east along Dongsanheng Lane, and after crossing Dongerchang Street, you will find Jingyang Palace. In the early Ming Dynasty, it was called Changyang Palace, and it was renamed Jingyang Palace in the 14th year of Jiajing. Jingyang means admiring the sun.

A celebrity lived in Jingyang Palace in Ming Dynasty. Emperor Wanli Zhu Yijun visited his mother, Empress Dowager Li, in the Palace of Compassion and Ning one day, and in the end he thanked his mother's palace queen. At that time, Emperor Wanli had not suffered from polio, and he could walk normally, and it was no problem to bring down the two court ladies. Miss Wang was pregnant and gave birth to her son Zhu Changluo, who was named Concubine Wang Gong, and this son was the eldest son of Emperor Wanli. Two years later, Concubine Wang Gong gave birth to the fourth princess. Emperor Wanli moved Concubine Wang Gong into Jingyang Palace, and his son Zhu Changluo grew up and lived in Ciqing Palace outside the harem. Emperor Wanli didn't like Concubine Wang Gong, who was born as a court lady, but Concubine Zheng Gui. In fact, the Empress Dowager Li, the mother-in-law of Emperor Wanli, was also a court lady. The Jingyang Palace where Concubine Wang Gong lived has become a cold palace, where she has been treated coldly for thirty years. Emperor Wanli later suffered from polio, and it was inconvenient to walk, so he never went to Jingyang Palace, nor did he take Concubine Wang Gongfei to Qianqing Palace. According to the Ming system, Zhu Changluo must be established as the prince, and the Empress Dowager Li and the ministers all supported it. But Concubine Zheng also wanted to make her son the crown prince. Because of the establishment of the crown prince, Emperor Wanli became one with the ministers, from the deputy state level to the department and bureau level, hundreds of ministers were demoted, and some were placed on plaques. During this period, Zhu Changluo had a son Zhu Youxiao, the grandson of Emperor Wanli Zhu Yijun. As a result, Emperor Wanli established Zhu Changluo as the crown prince under the strong support of Empress Dowager Li, made Concubine Wang Gong the imperial concubine, and still ate cold food in the cold palace of Jingyang Palace. In the thirty-ninth year of Wanli (AD 1611), after thirty years of being aggrieved in the cold palace, the forty-six-year-old Concubine Wang Gong died. In the 43rd year of Wanli, a shocking masonry attack occurred. Although it was a suspicious case, it was a fight between Concubine Zheng and Prince Zhu Changluo. After the death of Emperor Wanli, Zhu Changluo became Emperor Taichang, the Ming Guangzong that no one remembers. As I said last time, Emperor Taichang died in the Hongwan case in less than a month. His son Zhu Youxiao was carried by the ministers to the Wenhua Palace to fight against Li Xuanshi, and succeeded in succeeding him as Emperor Tianqi. Then the palace transfer case broke out and Li Xuanshi was expelled from the Qianqing Palace. After Zhu Youxiao took office, he gave his grandma Concubine Wang Gong the posthumous title of Empress Xiaojing, and was buried in Dingling with Emperor Wanli and Empress Xiaoduan. The Concubine Wang Gong who lives in Jingyang Palace is the most tragic concubine in Ming Dynasty.

During the Kangxi period of the Qing Dynasty, the Jingyang Palace was rebuilt into the royal library, and the back hall became the imperial study. The architectural layout of Jingyang Palace and other palaces in the East Sixth Palace is basically the same, the difference is that the front hall is only three rooms wide instead of five. Moreover, the front hall is the roof of the hall with yellow glazed tiles, not the top of Xieshan. The apse is a yellow glazed tile top, not a hard top. The roof specifications of the front and rear halls are higher than others. Jingyang Palace is in the farthest corner of the East Sixth Palace, which makes people feel a little gloomy, so it is not open now. To be open is also the temporary exhibition Royal Baby.

In the Jingyang Palace, there used to be twelve paintings of "Gong Xun Tu" hired by Qianlong, one for each of the six east and west palaces. These pictures discuss the twelve virtues of women, such as learning to be polite, thrifty, caring for husbands and children, hardworking and brave, and being innovative. Qianlong also gave each picture a set of "Gong Xun Poems" by Yuyan. Every year on the twenty-sixth day of the twelfth lunar month, it is hung in each palace, with poems on the east wall of the main hall and pictures on the west wall. It was hung until February 2, the day when the dragon raised its head. After hanging, it was dusted and stored in the backyard of Jingyang Palace.

The Forbidden City now has some so-called original display exhibitions. In addition to the first three halls and the rear three palaces, the West Sixth Palace also has restored displays according to the original state of the Qing Dynasty, but the East Sixth Palace does not. The East Sixth Palace has been made into exhibition halls, some of which are themed exhibitions, such as the Bronze Ware Museum; there are also special exhibitions, such as the Guqin Exhibition. The West Sixth Palace has two palaces and one palace, but the East Sixth Palace does not. There are still six palaces, and the architectural layout of the early Ming Dynasty is basically maintained. Only the Palace of Yanxi Palace was rebuilt after the fire and became an unfinished building; the front yard of Zhongcui Palace added a circle of chasing corridors.

The East Sixth Palace is where the harem concubines lived. In the early Ming Dynasty, several courtyards were built outside the Qianying Gate behind the East Sixth Palace, which were called Qiandong Wusuo, and now they are called Beiwusuo. What Qiandong Wu said was the east of Qianqing Palace. Of course, there are five courtyards in the five houses. These five courtyards are for the princes to live in, and they are numbered from west to east. The layout of these five courtyards is the same, and they are all three courtyards. There is a glazed door in the front yard, and a wooden screen wall is used to enter the door. Behind the screen wall is the front hall, with supporting halls on both sides. The second entrance courtyard is also the main hall plus two supporting halls, and there is a well pavilion in the courtyard. The third entrance courtyard has only the back hall and no side hall. These buildings are basically intact now, but they are not open for visits.

There are some buildings to the east of the East Sixth Palace, the most important of which is the Tianqiong Palace. There is a small long street running north-south outside the east wall of the East Sixth Palace, and further east is Dongtongzi Long Street, and the Tianqiong Palace is at the north end between these two streets. The Tianqiong Palace was called the Xuanqiong Palace in the Ming Dynasty, and was renamed the Tianqiong Palace during the Kangxi period of the Qing Dynasty to avoid taboos. This is the largest Taoist temple in the imperial palace. The Qin'an Hall in the imperial garden is dedicated to the northern Xuanwu Emperor, which is also a Taoist temple. The Vault of Heaven Hall is dedicated to God Haotian, as well as Lu Zu and the heavenly deities, who regularly open dojos. Haotian God is the Emperor of Heaven, which is what the folks call "God". There are bronze cranes and tortoises on the platform in front of the main hall, as well as copper incense burners, all made by Qianlong. Every year on the first day of the first lunar month, the Tianla Dojo, one of the Five Lamas, is held here. On the ninth day of the first lunar month, the Tiansheng Dojo is held on the birthday of Haotian God, and the Longevity and Ping An Dojo is held on the Emperor’s birthday. Now the ashram is closed, but it is still not open for visits.

The south side of the Tianqiong Palace and the east side of the Yanxi Palace were the office buildings of the palace officials in the Ming Dynasty, which is equivalent to the current general office or the General Affairs Administration. To the east from Yanxi Palace is its main entrance, which is small and inconspicuous, and it is not open now.

In the Hongwu period of the early Ming Dynasty, six bureaus and one division were established. The six bureaus were called Liushang Bureau, and "Shang" means to be in charge. Including Shang Gong, Shang Yi, Shang Fu, Shang Shi, Shang Sleeping and Shang Gong, these six Shang bureaus are the palace school, which masters various etiquette and skills of eunuchs and maids. The first division is Gong Zhengsi, an institution that manages the palace people, and the three in one are the public security, the prosecution and the law. In the Qing Dynasty, this was the royal warehouse, called the inner warehouse, including the silk warehouse, tea warehouse, fruit warehouse and so on. Every morning, without waiting for the emperor and queen to apply, there would be eunuchs queuing up to come out from the Neikumen in this East Yiheng Alley, carrying all kinds of snacks and ingredients to the gates of the various palaces. The eunuch of the palace will follow at the gate of each palace, and then the second palace maid is responsible for placing it in the designated position of each house. The grand lady doesn't do this, the grand lady is busy wiping soap and washing her face at this moment. These warehouses are not open because they have not been cleaned for many years.

Going east along the east side lane in front of Yanxi Palace, there is an east-facing door on the palace wall, called Cangzhen Gate. Out of this gate is the north-south Dongtongzi Long Street. This long street is longer than Dongyi Long Street. It can lead to the Jianting Square outside the Jingyun Gate on the east side of the Palace of Preservation in the south, and to the Jianting Square in the north. The Shenwumen Square outside the Shunzhen Gate is the road for the coolies and eunuchs in the palace.

After watching the East Six Palaces, go to the West Six Palaces.

(to be continued)