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.


Last time, it was said that Qianlong built Ningshou Palace, a nursing home, after returning to power on Waichao East Road. Because the two dynasties of the Ming and Qing dynasties had never had any emperors who returned to power before him, and they were all on the throne, so Qianlong was the first emperor in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, and in fact he was the only one. In history, the only emperors who had continued the Zen position as Emperor Zuo were Tang Gaozu Li Yuan and Song Huizong Zhao Ji. In the later Zhou Dynasty, Chai Zong Xun Zen was located in Zhao Kuangyin and Yao Shunyu's Zen positions. They all changed dynasties. But the queen is different, the queens go to the mausoleum first to wait for the emperor. But there are also many emperors who are dead, and she is still strong. This is why retired queens often appear. After the queen retires, she is promoted to become the empress dowager. The empress dowager is the mother of the current emperor, so of course she should have a good house to live in. A serious queen lived in the main hall of Kunning Palace, and in the Qing Dynasty, she lived in the East Sixth Palace or West Sixth Palace. When she became an empress dowager, she moved from her former residence to her current residence. According to the law of east up and west down, the Taishanghuang's nursing home was built on the inner court outer east road, and the empress dowager's nursing home was built on the inner court outer west road. I was just joking, but in fact, there was the Empress Dowager Nursing Home first.

This piece of building is outside Longzong Gate, almost corresponding to the location of Ningshou Palace outside Jingyun Gate, a little southerly. On the palace wall obliquely opposite Longzong Gate, there are three glazed gates with the wall. This is the left gate of Yongkang.

After entering, there is a square. The west end opposite the square is the right gate of Yongkang, which is not open. On the north side of the square is the Cining Gate.

The architectural form of the Cining Gate is basically the same as that of the Qianqing Gate in the Housan Palace. The difference is that on both sides of the imperial road in the middle, there is a pair of gilt bronze lions in front of the Qianqing Gate, and here is the same pair of gilt lions in front of the Tianyi Gate of the Imperial Garden. The imperial road of Qianqing Gate is the Yunlong Danbi Stone, and here is the Dragon and Phoenix Danbi. On the eaves of the Qianqing Gate are painted double dragons and seals, here are dragons and phoenixes and seals.

The Cining Gate is the main entrance of the Cining Palace, which was the Renshou Palace in the early Ming Dynasty. In the 15th year of Jiajing in Ming Dynasty (AD 1536), the Renshou Palace was transformed into the Compassionate Palace, and it was rebuilt during the Wanli period.

After entering the Cining Gate, there is a large platform leading directly to the main hall of the Cining Palace. In front of the Cining Palace is a large square in front of the hall.

The Compassion Palace is seven rooms wide and three rooms deep. There are five doors in the open room, secondary room and slightly room in the front, and there are sill walls and partition windows at the end. On the other doors and windows are double-crossing and four-bowl Linghua, which is inferior to the three-crossing and six-bowl in the palace. On the top are brackets and beams, yellow glazed tiles with double eaves on the top of the mountain, and nine ridge beasts, which are quite high in specification. There are eaves corridors at the front and back, and on the eaves, there are colorful paintings of double dragons, double phoenixes and seals. There is a five-foot-high green brick platform below, and in front of the hall is a large white stone platform with a circle of white marble handrails. There are three roads on the front of the platform, Danbi stone in the middle road, and white marble handrails on each side. The plaque of the Compassionate Palace is still a second-hand product. It is different from the plaques of other palaces in that it is written in Manchurian, Mongolian and Chinese. After looking at that Chinese character for a long time, it turned out to be "Compassionate Palace", which is really good enough. Look at the decorations on the platform.

Everyone knows the four gilt cauldrons, as well as the sundial on an exposed pedestal to the east. Some people don't know what is placed on the open seat in the west. It is a bronze moon dial.

There are courtyard walls on both sides of the main hall, and there are vertical flower gates on the wall, and the backyard is through the vertical flower gate. The main hall and the apse are on the same platform.

The back hall is five rooms wide and two rooms deep. The front five rooms all have four six-panel partition doors, double intersecting four bowls with lattice flowers, and gilded Ruyi pattern skirt boards. On the top is a structure of bucket arches and beams, yellow glazed tiles on the top of the mountain with single eaves, and seven ridged beasts, which are one level lower than the main hall of Compassionate Palace. The white marble dew seat on the platform is very beautiful.

There are east and west ear rooms in the apse. Different from the East and West Six Palaces, there are no supporting halls on both sides of the main hall and back hall, but surrounded by a circle of verandas, which is higher in level than the East and West Six Palaces, similar to the Hou San Palace. The base of the veranda is as high as the corridor between the Cining Gate and the Cining Palace.

The emperors in the early Ming Dynasty were very cruel. The noble concubines of Zhu Yuanzhang and Zhu Di were all buried; Hongxi Emperor Zhu Gaochi also buried a noble concubine and four concubines, leaving a Queen Zhang, who was honored as the Queen Mother by the successor Xuande Emperor Zhu Zhanji. Live in Qingning Palace. Empress Zhang's son Xuande Emperor Zhu Zhanji was even more cruel. A noble concubine brought nine concubines and ten people to be buried. When Zhu Zhanji collapsed, Empress Zhang became the empress dowager, the first empress dowager in the Ming Dynasty, and moved into the Renshou Palace, the predecessor of the Cining Palace. palace. Empress Zhang lived in Renshou Palace until her grandson Ming Yingzong Zhu Qizhen passed away during the orthodox years when he was in power. At that time, the Renshou Hall in the Renshou Palace was quite large, and there was a Dashan Hall in front of it. There is a poem praising that "Qianqing shines in Kunning, and great goodness shines in Renshou". It can be seen that the scale of this hall is second only to Qianqing Palace and Kunning Palace. Dashan Hall is equivalent to Qianqing Palace, and Renshou Hall is equivalent to Kunning Palace. However, Zhu Di didn't build the Renshou Palace for the Empress Dowager at first, because he didn't have the Empress Dowager to arrange a residence at that time. The Renshou Palace was originally built to worship Buddha, and there are many Buddha statues in the Dashan Palace, all of which were handed down from the Yuan Dynasty palace.

The last achievement of Zhu Qizhen, Emperor Yingzong of the Ming Dynasty, was to ban the system of burial of concubines. After Zhu Qizhen collapsed, Empress Qian became the queen mother and lived in Qingning Palace. Concubine Zhou of Zhu Qizhen is the biological mother of Ming Xianzong Zhu Jianshen who ascended the throne. Zhu Jianshen also made her the empress dowager and lived in Renshou Palace. In order to respect the two palaces of his aunt's biological mother, Zhu Jianshen gave his aunt Empress Qian the emblem "Empress Dowager Ciyi", and Empress Qian became the first empress dowager with an emblem in the Ming Dynasty. Zhu Qizhen's younger brother, Zhu Qiyu, was the emperor of the Ming Dynasty during the Beishou period of Zhu Qizhen after the civil engineering change, and his Tang noble concubine was also buried. Concubine Wan Gui of Ming Xianzong Zhu Jianshen died before the emperor, and not long after Wan Guifei died, Zhu Jianshen also passed away. Emperor Hongzhi Zhu Youtang practiced monogamy and had no imperial concubine. His wife, Empress Zhang, was honored as the queen mother by Emperor Zhengde Zhu Houzhao and lived in Renshou Palace.

Zhu Houzhao had no children, and his cousin Zhu Houcong succeeded him as Emperor Jiajing, and there was no imperial concubine. Emperor Jiajing arranged for his sister-in-law, Empress Xia of Zhu Houzhao, to live in the Xiaosan Palace behind Qingning Palace. Not long after, the Qingning Palace caught fire, and Emperor Jiajing moved Empress Xia and his cousin's concubines to Renshou Palace to live with Empress Dowager Zhang. The Qingning Palace was rebuilt after the fire, and Emperor Jiajing moved his mother, Empress Dowager Jiang, into the newly built Qingning Palace. As you said, it was a coincidence that just after Qingning Palace was built, Renshou Palace became angry. Empress Dowager Zhang took Empress Xia and had to move elsewhere. The fire site of Renshou Palace was abandoned for ten years. Emperor Jiajing deliberately did not rebuild it, so that his cousin's mother, Empress Zhang, lived no better than her mother. In the 15th year of Jiajing (AD 1536), a new hall was rebuilt on the ruins of Renshou Palace to become the Palace of Compassion and Ning, and it was specially designated as the Empress Dowager Palace. Since then, the Compassion Ning Palace has become the exclusive residence of the Empress Dowager of the former dynasty. The Palace of Compassion and Ning was completed in the 17th year of Jiajing, and the Empress Dowager Jiang lived in it. After that, Emperor Jiajing transformed Qingning Palace into Ciqing Palace as the residence for the Empress Dowager. After it was completed in the 19th year of Jiajing, Empress Dowager Zhang lived in it. As a result, neither of the two empress dowagers had good results. Empress Dowager Jiang died half a year after living in the Palace of Compassion; The Qingning Palace and the renovated Ciqing Palace are no longer there, and they may be in the area of ​​the current Ningshou Palace.

Emperor Jiajing's son Zhu Zaixi served as Emperor Muzong Longqing of the Ming Dynasty for six years. He was humble and peaceful, and carried out some reforms and opening up to achieve stability and unity in the frontier. After the death of Emperor Longqing, the second Empress Chen became Empress Dowager and lived in Ciqing Palace; the birth mother of Prince Zhu Yijun, Li Guifei, was also named Empress Dowager. Zhu Yijun was still young when he first became emperor, and although he didn't need an adult to pee, he still had to be coaxed to sleep by his mother. Therefore, at the beginning, Empress Dowager Li lived in Qianqing Palace to look after her children. It was not until Zhu Yijun got married in the sixth year of Wanli (1578 A.D.) that Empress Dowager Li moved to Cining Palace. The Empress Dowager Li was very strict with Zhu Yijun, but she seemed to have not taken good care of her, which caused Zhu Yijun to suffer from polio. Because of the inconvenience of walking, Zhu Yijun seldom went to court, and was criticized by later generations for negligence. Now it seems that Zhu Yijun, who is sick, has done a good job for Emperor Wanli. Empress Dowager Li came from a humble background. In order to establish her prestige, she said that she was the incarnation of Nine Lotus Bodhisattva. She built a temple in the west of Beijing to worship Nine Lotus Bodhisattva, called Cishou Temple, and built a pagoda in the temple called Yong'an Shou Pagoda. This temple is now gone, but the pagoda is still there. It is the Linglong Pagoda on Linglong Road. I have a short article about this pagoda, "Linglong Temple on Linglong Road, Linglong Pagoda in Linglong Temple". Empress Dowager Li also built a new Linxi Pavilion on a pool in the garden in front of the Cining Palace, saying that there are nine lotus flowers blooming in the pool.

When Emperor Wanli died, his empress had not been there for many years. In the end, Concubine Zheng lived in the Palace of Compassion, moved to Renshou Palace during the reign of Tianqi, and died in the reign of Chongzhen. It is the largest solitary burial tomb for a noble concubine in the mausoleum. After the Wanli Emperor, the short-lived Taichang Emperor Zhu Changluo died in the Hongwan case. His original wife died early, as did Wang Cairen, the birth mother of Prince Zhu Youxiao, and Liu Shunv, the birth mother of Zhu Youjian. Zhu Youxiao ascended the throne as Emperor Tianqi, and Zhang Yan, the first beauty in the draft in the first year of Tianqi, was canonized as queen. Zhu Youxiao had no children, and when he was critically ill, Empress Zhang insisted on passing on to the emperor's younger brother Zhu Youjian, which prevented Wei Zhongxian and Hakka from conspiring to forge the crown prince to usurp the throne. After Tianqi Emperor Zhu Youxiao passed away, his Empress Zhang lived in Ciqing Palace. Although Zhu Youjian won the Chongzhen throne, he still lost the Ming Dynasty throne in the end. Before Chongzhen committed suicide, in addition to sweeping away all the women in the harem, Empress Zhang also committed suicide in the palace. After Shunzhi entered Beijing, Empress Zhang was buried in the Mingde Mausoleum of Mingxi Zong Zhu Youxiao.

In the Qing Dynasty, the Empress Dowager Ma Xiaozhuang of Shunzhi was the first to live in the Palace of Compassion. The empress of Emperor Taizong of the Qing Dynasty was Empress Xiaoduanwen Zhezhe, the first-class concubine on the left was Hai Lanzhu, the concubine of Guanju Palace, and the empress dowager Xiaozhuang was the second-class concubine of Yongfu Palace Zhuangfei on the right at that time. When the Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang lived in the Cining Palace, the front hall was the auditorium for celebrations, and there were no people there. The apse is the sleeping palace, which was later changed into the Great Buddha Hall by the Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang during the Kangxi period, dedicated to Buddha. The Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang's bedroom was gone, and she said she would live in the narrow southeast verandah, but Emperor Kangxi had no choice but to build a new bedroom for grandma outside the east wall, and the Empress Dowager called it "good". There is a small door on the east side outside the Cining Gate. Inside the small gate is the outer bedroom of the Cining Palace newly built by Emperor Kangxi for the Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang. It is not open now. It is the small gate that the two photographers are taking pictures of in the picture below. Of course the Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang did not go through this small gate, she walked through the gate from the Palace of Compassion and Ning.

I lay down on the ground and looked in through the crack of the door. This place seems to be an office now.

After Xiaozhuang's death, Kangxi decreed that the entire palace outside the Cining Palace was moved to the Zhaoling Mausoleum of the Qing Dynasty to be buried with the Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang. The apse of the Compassionate Ning Palace was changed into a Great Buddha Hall, so of course it is not easy to live in. After Yinzhen died in the 13th year of Yongzheng (AD 1735), Qianlong began to build the Shoukang Palace on the west side of the Cining Palace to live in the Empress Dowager, and then continued to rebuild the Cining Palace. In the thirty-sixth year of Qianlong (AD 1771), in order to celebrate the 80th birthday of his mother, the Empress Dowager Chongqing, brother Hongli changed the single-eave Xieshan top of the main hall of the Cining Palace into double-eaves, which is what it is now. To the north of the apse of the Compassionate Palace is Xisan, which used to be a nursing home for concubines of the former dynasty, and is now a restoration factory for cultural relics of the Forbidden City.

The Compassion Palace is a place with a lot of stories. In the early Ming Dynasty, Zhu Di built the Renshou Palace to enshrine the Buddha statues inherited from the Yuan Dynasty. Emperor Jiajing of the Ming Dynasty created the Compassionate Palace as the Empress Dowager's Palace in order to fight for treatment for his mother, Empress Dowager Chiang. Empress Dowager Li, the mother of Zhu Yijun, Emperor Wanli of the Ming Dynasty, moved from Qianqing Palace to Compassionate Ning Palace, in order to build up prestige for herself, she made up a theory of the incarnation of Nine Lotus Bodhisattva. The Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang of the Qing Dynasty changed the Palace of Compassion and Ning back to a Buddhist hall, and moved to live in a small house outside the wall by herself. In order to celebrate the birthday of his mother, the Empress Dowager Chongqing, Qianlong upgraded the Palace of Compassion and Ning, changing the single-eave roof to double-eaves, and the architectural level of the Palace of Compassion and Ning reached its peak. From the beginning of the Qianlong Dynasty in the Qing Dynasty, Shoukang Palace became the residence of the queen of the former dynasty, that is, the Empress Dowager Palace.

The current Compassion Palace is the sculpture hall of the Forbidden City. There are many Buddha statues on display, and it also maintains the meaning of the Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang offering Buddha. However, the empress dowager's ceremonial furnishings in the front hall are gone, that is, the noble throne. Look at the statues of Buddha, the collection of the Forbidden City.

There are three stone sculptures, with Buddha in the middle and bodhisattvas on both sides. They all date from the Northern Qi period, that is, the Northern Qi Dynasty during the Southern and Northern Dynasties, more than 500 AD.

The piece of "Rende Dalong" on it was written by Cixi, the original one was rebuilt in 2016. The seal on it is "The Treasure of Empress Dowager Cixi's Royal Brush" in the middle, the left hand on both sides "Peace, Benevolence and Heaven and Earth Consent", and the right hand "Counting Plum Blossoms and the Heart of Heaven and Earth". This is a new set of three large sandalwood cross dragon button imperial seals newly made by Cixi in her later years, specially used on large-character plaques. From this point of view, this plaque should be used in the ceremony when Cixi was promoted to the empress dowager.

A woodcarved and painted gilt figure of Guanyin Bodhisattva, Northern Song Dynasty. This is a typical Avalokitesvara statue, which is usually placed behind the altar in the Daxiong Hall.

The three-color glazed arhat statue was made in the Chenghua period of the Ming Dynasty. There are words on the back, which say the donor, the master, the craftsman and the time. It is rare to have a complete record. Looking at the handprint on the Bodhisattva's right hand, it seems to be "piu-piu", which is extremely rare.

Shiwei Beast Statue, Northern Qi Dynasty. The fear beast comes from the "Shan Hai Jing", also known as the evil beast. It is a legendary beast that can avoid evil. It has horns on its head and wings on its shoulders. The ancients had pictures, but they were not unique and varied.

The stone fear beast above comes from the largest ninth cave in the Xiangtangshan Grottoes. I visited this cave in 2018. There is a travel note "When Winter and Spring Intersect, Traveling to Southern Hebei on Horseback". In the innermost part of the Nine Caves, there are still some statues of fearing beasts that have not been dug away. In the picture below, there is a statue of fearing beasts on both sides of the altar at the bottom of the stone pillars.

Take a look at the stone beasts under the Panchen Lama Pagoda at the Huang Temple in Beijing, and see my short article "Visiting the Yellow Temple in Beijing, Exploring Secrets That Have Been Hidden for Three Hundred Years".

Then look at the Buddha statues displayed in the Compassion Palace. Carved and painted wood head of Avalokitesvara, Jin Dynasty. The orb on the forehead is lost.

A gilt bronze statue of Avalokitesvara with Thousand Hands and Thousand Eyes, Five Dynasties period. There are usually twenty Avalokitesvara statues on each side, each representing twenty-five hands, a total of a thousand hands. Guanyin Bodhisattva has six incarnations, called Liuguanyin. Different Buddhist sects have different six Avalokitesvara, and Avalokitesvara with thousands of hands and eyes is one of the six Avalokitesvara of Tantric Buddhism.

Take a look at the painted agarwood wood-carved sandalwood Buddha statue below, which was built in the 55th year of Qianlong (AD 1790) by the Construction Office, and was originally preserved in Yuqing Palace.

Zhantan Buddha statue is the first Buddha statue in the world. According to the "Repaying Gratitude Sutra", Sakyamuni went to heaven to repay his mother's kindness after he became a Buddha, and he still did not return after several months. King Youtan, who worshiped Buddha, saw that the Buddha had not returned for a long time, and he was getting sick day and night. He invited an arhat with the greatest supernatural power to take a piece of sandalwood to the sky, asking him to meet the Buddha and carve a Buddha statue to bring back. When Arhat came to the sky, he saw the Buddha standing on a single layer of lotus by the water, with his right hand in the gesture of fearlessness and his left hand in the gesture of wishing. Arhat carved the Buddha's image into a Zhantan Buddha statue. Since the ripples in the water reflected on the Buddha's body, the Buddha statue was covered with water ripples. Hundreds of years later, this Zhantan Buddha statue set off eastward and was eventually introduced to China. It entered Bianjing in Song Dynasty and Beijing in Yuan Dynasty. It was in Sheng'an Temple outside Xuanwumen in Ming Dynasty and Hongren Temple near Beihai Park in Qing Dynasty. Because there are Zhantan Buddha statues in the temple, the folks call Hongren Temple Zhantan Temple. When the Eight-Power Allied Forces invaded Beijing, they burned Hongren Temple. The whereabouts of this precious Zhantan Buddha statue are unknown, whether it was destroyed or stolen. In China, Buddha statues of this image are called Zhantan Buddha statues, and there are such Zhantan Buddha statues of various periods in various places. Sandalwood, also called white sandalwood, is very rare, a specialty of the Western Regions, and rarely seen in the Mainland. In the Wanfu Pavilion of Lama Temple, there is a huge Buddha statue carved from a single piece of wood. Although it is made of white sandalwood, it is not Zhan Sandalwood Buddha. The Qing Palace Building Office copied several Zhantan Buddha statues in the Western Regions based on this, and there are still one in the Lama Temple. The one exhibited here in the Compassionate Ning Palace is one of the imitations of the Qing Palace. This Buddha statue has a tall bun with water ripples, sunken eye sockets, a high nose and thin lips. It is an Aryan face with early Gandhara style. But his earlobes are really too big, which is a blessing for the Han people.

A painted clay figure of Guan Yu, Ming Dynasty. There is often a Guan Gong hall in Chinese Buddhist temples, so the statue of Guan Gong is also displayed in the Buddha statue hall.

The east and west verandahs of the Cining Palace each have a gate. The Huiyin left gate leading to the Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang's bedroom on the east side is closed, and the west side is the Huiyin right gate. The plaques are in Manchurian, Mongolian and Chinese. This should be the style of the early Shunzhi period of the Qing Dynasty. The plaques in the palace in the 13th year of Shunzhi were all bilingual in Manchurian and Chinese.

Standing on the platform of Huiyin's right gate, take another look at the main hall of Compassionate Ning Palace.

After exiting Huiyin, the right door is the small square in front of Shoukang Gate. There is no door on the west side of the opposite square, which is the West Wing Room.

This is the main entrance of Shoukang Palace on the west side of Compassion Palace. Opposite the door is a red brick screen wall, and there is a wooden screen door inside the door. After the screen door, you will enter the courtyard of Shoukang Palace. On the front is the main hall of Shoukang Palace.

The main hall sits on a five-foot-high green brick platform, five rooms wide and three rooms deep, with bucket arches and beams on the top, yellow glazed tiles with single eaves on the top of the mountain, and seven ridged beasts. There is an eaves corridor in front, and dragons, phoenixes and seals are painted on the eaves. There are partition doors in the front open room and the secondary room, and a little bit of sill wall and partition window. They are all made of three crosses and six bowls of lattice flowers, which are of a higher level than the Palace of Compassion and Ning. There is only an open door at the back. There is a small white stone platform in front of Shoukang Palace. There are three roads leading out from the front, and there is Danbi stone in the middle road. There are auxiliary halls in the east and west of the main hall.

The side hall is three rooms wide, with yellow glazed tiles and a single eaves hard hilltop, with eaves and corridors in front. There is an ear room on the south side of the side hall, and the veranda room on the north side leads to the backyard. Go to the backyard to see the apse of Shoukang Palace.

The main hall and the back hall are also on the same platform, which is the same as the Compassion Palace. The apse is also five rooms wide and three rooms deep, with yellow glazed tiles and single eaves resting on the top of the mountain, and seven ridged beasts. There is a verandah in front, and the door opens in the open room. There is also a courtyard behind the apse, which is a row of back rooms, which are not open.

During the Kangxi period, the Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang converted the Cining Palace into a Buddhist hall. In the thirteenth year of Yongzheng, the emperor died and the new emperor was promoted. At that time, the Cining Palace was the former residence of the Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang, and its outer east bedroom had been moved to the Zhaoling Mausoleum of the Qing Dynasty. During this period, there was also the Ningshou Palace built by Kangxi for the retirement of the concubines of the former dynasty, and several concubines of Kangxi lived in it. Qianlong certainly could not let his mother live with those elders. The new Emperor Qianlong immediately planned to build a new Empress Dowager Palace on the west side of the Compassionate Palace, which is the Shoukang Palace, which was completed in the first year of Qianlong. Lao Gan also personally named the newly built Empress Dowager Palace "Shoukang Palace". In the Southern Song Dynasty and the Northern Jin Dynasty, there used to be a big house called Shoukang Palace where the emperor's parents lived. Because everyone liked to watch "The Legend of Zhen Huan" a few years ago, when everyone came to Shoukang Palace, they said they were looking at the palace where Zhen Huan lived. In fact, Zhen Huan has a lot of fabrications, which are incompatible with Qianlong's mother, Concubine Xi.

Laogan's Concubine Niangxi was promoted to the Empress Dowager of Chongqing and lived in the Shoukang Palace. The Palace of Compassion and Ning was still used as the auditorium for the Empress Dowager's ceremony. The ceremony of moving to the empress dowager, conferring the Empress Dowager, and getting her badge were all held in the Palace of Compassion and Ning. The first and second years of Qianlong's memorials and New Year's celebrations were also held in the Palace of Compassion. From the third year of Qianlong's reign, the New Year's gift was changed to Shoukang Palace. I guess it was because the decoration and furniture in the main hall of the Shoukang Palace were not fully in place before. Lao Gan was still young at the time, and felt that his mother was not as good as the Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang, so he dared not live in the Palace of Compassion, and only dared to do it temporarily in the Palace of Compassion. ceremony.

Look inside Shoukang Palace.

Look at the throne of the Empress Dowager from the front.

There is a floor in the middle, on which there is a nanmu screen and the throne of the Queen Mother. This set of screen thrones was the original made by Qianlong for the 80th birthday ceremony of the Empress Dowager in Chongqing. On both sides of the front of the throne, there must be gold pinch enamel end and incense pavilion, and the fans on both sides must also be there. Behind the throne, the plaque couplet "Ci Shou Ning Xi" was also made by Lao Gan when he celebrated the birthday of his 80-year-old mother, but it is not the original.

Look at the dragon and phoenix and Xipingqi smallpox above, Doubahun golden panlong caisson, and Xuanyuan mirror in the dragon's mouth.

The two sides are slightly separated into East and West Nuan Pavilions. Take a look at the huanghuali Pilu hats on the door of the East Nuan Pavilion, which is extremely gorgeous.

The picture I took above is the door of Dongnuange. Although it is just an ordinary door, it makes sense for me to take it. This East Nuan Pavilion is a small Buddhist hall for the Empress Dowager Chongqing, which was custom-made, and the Empress Dowager usually worships Buddha here. This door is not easy to open. When you open it occasionally, you can see a golden stupa inlaid with precious stones inside.

Don't look at the pedestal, that doesn't matter. If you look at the pagoda itself, it is a typical Qing Dynasty-style covered bowl Tibetan pagoda, and it has all the odds and ends, including the covered bowl pagoda body, the thirteen heavenly phase wheels, the canopy, and the moon-raising pearl pagoda. In addition to the tassels, there are also hanging straps hanging from the canopy. Even the base, the entire tower is studded with various gemstones, luxurious, right? On the lotus pedestal in the pot gate is a sitting statue of Sakyamuni, which is hidden behind the Buddha statue, and ordinary people can't see it at all. It is said that there is a small box behind the Buddha statue, and that box is not a Buddha relic, but a lock of hair. This lock of hair does not belong to Empress Fucha, nor does it belong to Concubine Ling, but Zhen Huan's. After the death of the Empress Dowager of Chongqing, Qianlong ordered people to use all the gold elements in the Shoukang Palace to combine and rush to make this golden hair pagoda for offering here, including Heshen's contribution. Now, this golden pagoda has been moved to the Empress Dowager's Ceremonial Exhibition Room in the West Hall of Shoukang Palace. You can see it in the section "Mother and Child Love".

Look inside the apse again. The apse is divided into five rooms, the most frightening one is the big wooden bed under the gable in the east room, which is quite majestic.

This is still a simple display now. When the Empress Dowager of Chongqing celebrates her tenth year, such as Pentecost, Sixty, Seventy and Eighty, the old cadre will write a big poem to congratulate her birthday, and then write it on the twelve screens. put it here. The four twelve-panel screens are all gone, and only the drafts of Lao Gan's great poems from that year are still kept by the Forbidden City. The plaque couplet "Dian Palace Yanxi Palace" hanging in Dongnuange was originally created by Lao Gan back then. Judging by the handwriting, it seems quite perfunctory. Most of the decorations on the kang were gifts for my mother's birthday, which I bought at my own expense.

Look at Xinuang Pavilion again.

Xinuange is the bedroom of the Empress Dowager Chongqing, and the furniture and furnishings are for daily use, not all for birthday gifts. The most amazing thing is next to the table under the west gable at the top of the inner room, where you can see a black lacquer and gold painted Fangsheng style incense table. It's not amazing because it's beautiful, but it is. This incense table is also the birthday gift furniture of the Empress Dowager of Chongqing. There are only two pairs of Fang Sheng style incense tables in the palace, and now there is only one of each pair left. This is one of them. After the death of the Empress Dowager of Chongqing, Qianlong took out the old things of the Empress Dowager to reward others. He once saved more than 30 incense tables for rewards, and those who were rewarded were all Fujin and princesses, including this pair of incense tables. But why is this incense stick still in the palace? The old man wants to reward people with things, and is there anything he can't reward? Or is it that the rewarded princess returned it to Dad as a fake?

Most of the decorations and small pieces of furniture in this apse are congratulatory gifts received by the Empress Dowager Chongqing on her birthday. These congratulatory gifts include everything, even the cushions and cushions you see, and even tablecloths.

After the Qianlong Dynasty, during the Jiaqing period, Concubine Yinggui and Concubine Wangui lived in this Shoukang Palace; during the Daoguang period, it was Empress Dowager Xiaoherui, the second queen of Jiaqing; Xianfeng's adoptive mother. During the Tongzhi period, the Empress Dowagers of Ci'an and Cixi listened to the government behind a curtain and lived in the Hall of Mental Cultivation. Since then, Shoukang Palace has been uninhabited, and Cixi was also honored by the Empress Dowager in Cining Palace. During the Tongzhi period, the interior decoration of Shoukang Palace was removed.

The masters in Shoukang Palace are all widowed queens. Don’t look at their previous glory, living in Shoukang Palace is what Bai Juyi said, "Shangyang people, Shangyang people, with dark faces, old white hair and new hair", living a life of "Yingguiyan". Going long quietly, spring to autumn comes without remembering the days of "years".

(to be continued)