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 top architectural art of ancient Chinese palaces seen in the Ming and Qing palaces, some royal cultural relics exhibited in the Forbidden City, traces of the royal life in the Qing Palace, and also think of some stories and legends that happened in the Ming and Qing palaces, dare not say "to enjoy Readers", just want to share with readers. thanks.


The back door of the Housan Palace is the Kunning Gate, which is a part of the Housan Palace, so the Kunning Gate opens to the north, and the plaque is hung on the north side. Moreover, the south of Kunning Gate is the site of the Housan Palace, which is the third courtyard of the Housan Palace.

At the beginning, the gate Zhu Di built at the position of Kunning Gate faced south and was called Guangyun Gate. At that time, the gate on the north side of the Imperial Garden was called Kunning Gate, and the Shenwumen Square was located outside the Kunning Gate. Zhu Di's imperial garden is called "Gong Hou Yuan", which is part of the Hou San Gong. During the Jiajing period of the Ming Dynasty, the verandah after the reconstruction of Kunning Palace became the current east-west board room, and the Guangyun Gate in the middle became the current Kunning Gate, and the original Kunning Gate was renamed Shunzhen Gate. The plaque of Guangyun Gate was hung on the south side. After it was renamed Kunning Gate, the plaque was hung on the north side, and the Imperial Garden became the garden outside the Housan Palace.

During the Ming Dynasty, the imperial garden called Gonghouyuan was the only garden in the imperial palace. In the Qing Dynasty, some small gardens were gradually built in the imperial palace, and those small gardens were only for special people to walk around.

Entering the Imperial Garden from the Kunning Gate, you will be faced with a cypress tree.

At first there was no tree here, but it was Qianlong who planted this tree. I don’t know whether he split a tree in half or planted a cypress tree in half. Anyway, Puyi and Wanrong later took a group photo here. At this time, Puyi was already the emperor, but Wanrong was not the empress, she was the eldest wife of Puyi, the rich young man. Some people say that Wanrong is the last queen, this is completely wrong! Her official title is "Mrs. Pu". Puyi and Wanrong did not grow old together. This tragedy is related to Wanrong being coerced to Changchun. Therefore, Chinese people know that this cypress tree is unlucky, and no old, middle-aged and young couples have ever taken a group photo under this tree.

In addition to Lianzhibai, there are two ancient trees beside Kunning Gate, which are Catalpa.

Han Yu in the Tang Dynasty once said that "five catalpas in the courtyard grow together for ten steps; each is surrounded by vines, and each is connected with each other". The catalpa tree on the opposite side of the path is entwined with old vines. The tree is dead, but the vines are still luxuriant.

The catalpa tree in the imperial garden was planted during the Jiajing period of the Ming Dynasty, and it still blooms in spring. Catalpa is a good wood, superior to elm, and it is not afraid of water immersion. It is a bit wasteful to make furniture. The most common use is to make gun stocks. There are old World War II guns that are fished out of the water, and the catalpa wood gun stocks are all intact.

There are some strange stone bonsai on both sides of Lianzhicypress. Look at this stone sitting on the seawater river cliff to the west.

I looked like it was a tiger's back molar pulled out by a dentist, but they said it was Kong Mingshen Beidou. It turned out that they said that the black shadow on the white background is Kong Ming, and the white dot on the black background is Beidou.

There is also a strange rock to the east of Lianzhibai.

I think this stone is the most disgusting stone in the Forbidden City, reflecting that all kinds of disgusting things will happen in the Palace. But they said it was sea cucumber stone.

There is a copper censer behind Lianzhibai, which is very delicate. Look at the carvings on its base, does it look like the National Grand Theater? The pattern on the top is three crosses and six bowls.

After Lianzhibai, there is a courtyard gate in the middle of the imperial garden. This is the Tianyi Gate, and there are two gilded bronze unicorns outside the gate.

In fact, the two auspicious beasts are not unicorns, but Luduan and unicorns.

Seeing me taking a picture of it, this dog pouts and squints at me for some reason. There were many people who took pictures of it before me, and I am afraid that it also stared at those people with such squinting eyes.

There are glazed screen walls on both sides of Tianyi Gate. Look at this screen wall, it is extremely rare to use creamy yellow cranes on the glass screen wall.

In the early Ming Dynasty, there was no door here, and of course there was no wall. In the Ming Dynasty, there were many fires in the imperial palace, and the emperor, ministers and concubines suffered from the fire for a long time. For the sake of auspiciousness, Emperor Jiajing built an additional courtyard wall here in the 14th year of Jiajing (1535 A.D.) and built this gate. Jiajing's inscription "Tianyi Gate" was taken from "Tianyi Yishui" in the "Book of Changes", which was later changed to "Tianyi Gate" by the Manchus. Although Emperor Jiajing was eager to pray for water to protect the palace, the gate never appeared. In the thirty-sixth year of Jiajing (AD 1557), the thunder fire in the palace was the most ruthless palace fire in history.

Since it is for fire protection, this door is all masonry structure. A one-foot-five-high bluestone base, a white stone platform handrail, and a blue brick arch gate built on the white stone Xumi seat. On the top is a glazed imitation wood bucket arch, with yellow glazed tiles and single eaves resting on the top of the mountain. The blue brick wall of the arch gate is as smooth as a mirror, and the seams are tight. This wall must have been polished. The brick walls in the Forbidden City do not see cement, cement and other adhesives in the brick joints. That is because these bricks are sloped, and the adhesive cannot be exposed inside. This kind of wall is called Qianbai wall, as the saying goes, "a piece of jade". Although these main structures are made of masonry, there are still red solid couch wooden doors. It is this door leaf that destroys the water prayer function of the door leaf, and the ninety-nine and eighty-one gilt door nails on the door leaf cannot break the side effect of the wooden door.

There is also a reason why Emperor Jiajing built a courtyard here. This courtyard is the core building of the Imperial Garden, the Hall of Qin'an. It is generally believed that this Qin'an Hall was built in the eighteenth year of Yongle (AD 1420) of Zhu Di, and it is the only original building on the Forbidden City Middle Road that has not been burned. There is also another group of people who say that Zhu Di's Qin'an Hall is another hall, which is now lost. This Qin'an Hall was newly built in the 14th year of Jiajing.

The Hall of Qin'an sits north and faces south. Below it is a five-foot-high white stone Xumizuo platform, with a circle of white marble handrails on it. The railings here are carved, with dragons and phoenixes looking at the column heads, and double dragons and flowers on the railings.

If you go to the back of the temple look at these railings.

You will find that there is a double dragon playing in the water on the middle fence at the back, while the other fences are double dragons grazing. Look, the wonder is behind, always very low-key. It is said that the Ssangyong grazing fence is an old item of the Yuan Palace.

The platform of Qin'an Hall is in front of the hall, with Yulu Danbi on the front and handrails on both sides. There are five rooms in width and three rooms in depth, and three rooms in front of the building. The platform in front of the original Qin'an Hall in the Ming Dynasty was quite large. In the Qing Dynasty, three buildings were built for the Qin'an Hall on this platform.

On the top is a structure of bucket arches and beams, with yellow glazed tiles and double eaves on the roof, and the ridge brake is a gold-plated vase with a gold-plated canopy on it. The dragon and phoenix and seals are affixed with gold on the beams, and the brackets and arches under the upper eaves are affixed with gold, which is quite luxurious. In 2004, during the overhaul of the Qin'an Temple, more than 3,000 scriptures were found in Jisha, all of which were Tibetan Buddhist scriptures. Tibetan Buddhism has entered the imperial palace since the Yuan Dynasty, and Kublai Khan, the ancestor of the Yuan Dynasty, respected the Sakya master Phagsipa as the national teacher. However, Qin'an Palace is a palace of Ming Dynasty, and it is true that the emperors of the Ming Dynasty respected Tibetan religion. There is a Tibetan temple in the Ming Palace, so it is unlikely that Tibetan Buddhist scriptures were hidden in the Zhenwu Temple Ridge. Everyone agreed that this was done by the Qing emperor, and who did it remains to be investigated. In 2005, when the overhaul of the Qin'an Temple was completed, most of these scriptures were put back, keeping their original appearance. We tourists can't see these Buddhist scriptures, but we will definitely be blessed by them, so when we walk to the Qin'an Hall, we must recite a sentence to it no matter what scripture it is, and thank the Bodhisattva for blessing.

If you pay attention, you can find six dragons on Danbi Stone. Except for the double dragon playing with the bead, the stone carved flying dragons on the Danbi Stone in the Forbidden City are all in odd numbers, three, five, and nine. Why is there an even number of six here? There is also a reason for this. According to Hetu Luoshu, the ten heavens and earth numbers are divided into two groups, one group from one to five, and another group from six to ten. The interpretation of these numbers includes "the number of survival of all things", among which there is the aforementioned "the sky produces water, and the earth has 60% of it". Therefore, there is the gate of Tianyi in front, and there are six dragons corresponding to it on the Danbi stone. From this point of view, after Emperor Jiajing built the Tianyi Gate, he must have transformed this Danbi Stone.

There are several white-bark pine trees in front of Qin'an Hall, which look very old.

Inside the Tianyi Gate, there is a burning stove on the east and west sides, which are used for burning sacrifices after the worship ceremony. The east side is glazed, and the west side is gilded bronze.

Next to the copper burner in the west, there is the most exquisite Jiazhu stone in China. The white marble carvings are full of sea water, river cliffs and double dragons riding clouds.

Standing on the pillar stone is the five dragons holding the holy flag, which was re-painted in the 13th year of Jiaqing in the Qing Dynasty (1808 A.D.) at the latest.

There is an incense pavilion behind each burner.

Look at these two incense pavilions, with red pillars and green squares, and yellow glazed tiles with single eaves and four corners with pointed roofs. It is said to be a square pavilion, but it turned out to be half-lit and half-dark. It is for a little change, which means that there is an open pavilion in front of the small hall. This pavilion should be called a room and a half room, adding up to two rooms and one room. There should be another place like this among the nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine and a half houses in the Forbidden City, with four pillars propped up in half-light and half-darkness. Why Red Column Green Fang? The custom of Chinese palace buildings is to paint red if they see the sun, and paint green or blue if they can't see the sun. If you pay attention, most of the houses in the Forbidden City are like this. The eaves and beams are all green or blue, and the columns, windows and doors are all red. Of course there are exceptions, and that is for the sake of surprise.

Zhu Yuanzhang passed on the throne to his grandson Zhu Yunqi, but Zhu Di refused to accept it; Jianwen Emperor Zhu Yunqi planned to cut down the feudal clan when he came to power, and Zhu Di was even more angry. He launched the Qing Emperor's Side Movement, claiming to go to Beijing to serve the king, but in fact he wanted to barbecue Emperor Jianwen. After succeeding, Zhu Di said, "The uprising soldiers are everywhere, the internal difficulties are difficult, the gods assist each other, and the popularity is very strong, and the traces are very obvious." The god he was talking about was Emperor Xuanwu, who was later named the God of the Arctic Zhenwu Xuantian by him, and became the highest protector of the Ming Dynasty. After Zhu Di sat on the dragon chair, he built some Zhenwu temples. The most powerful thing is to rebuild the Wudang Mountain Zhenwu Dao Palace, and also built the Zhenwu Temple in Di'anmen, Beijing. Zhu Di's snatching of the throne of Emperor Jianwen is actually a usurpation, which is very unjust. He borrowed the name of Emperor Xuanwu because he wanted to say "the power of the king is bestowed by God", so that he would be famous for leading his troops to the south. Therefore, when he built the imperial palace in Beijing, he built a Zhenwu Temple in the palace, which is the Qin'an Temple, the only temple on the central axis. Emperor Xuanwu is the god of the north, and he lives in the ridge of Hetu Luoshu. This Qin'an Hall is in this position in the imperial palace. In the earliest period of Zhu Di, this place was not a garden, it was very empty, only the Qin'an Hall. It is here that Zhu Di offered sacrifices to Emperor Zhenwu, the Zhenwu Temple in the imperial palace. In the sixth year of Jingtai (1455 A.D.) of Zhu Qiyu's reign, a garden was added here and became the back garden of the palace. Judging from the reason why Zhu Di built the Qin'an Palace and where it should be located, I also think that this Qin'an Palace should be Zhu Di's original work.

Qin'an Hall has been closed for a long time. I haven't really gone in to worship Emperor Zhenwu, but there must be a statue of Emperor Zhenwu inside. According to the Taoist description, Emperor Zhenwu is very mighty with hair and feet, wearing a black robe, a golden armor and a jade belt, glaring with a sword, stepping on a turtle and a snake, and a round light on the top. Because the Qin'an Hall has never been burned, its interior layout is basically the original shape, the original decoration in the early Ming Dynasty.

The courtyard wall of Qin'an Hall is also in the form of palace walls, with plastered red brick walls and yellow glazed tile eaves. But the height is much shorter than the palace wall. Standing outside, you can see the Qin'an Hall and other buildings in the courtyard. Because these buildings in the courtyard are not as mighty as the front hall and the back bedroom, the courtyard walls here should be shorter, and there will be a visual feeling of a small temple in the garden.

After passing the Kunning Gate, apart from the Qin'an Hall in the middle road, there are also some towers and pavilions on the east and west sides, and they are basically symmetrical. Going east, under the wall of the Kunning Gate Palace is a row of prefabricated canteens, where souvenirs are sold here, and food and beverages were sold here in the past.

There is an ancient locust tree beside the east wall of the canteen. This is Pan locust tree, commonly known as Longclaw locust tree. This locust tree was planted in the early Ming Dynasty. It can be seen that there are traces of artificial grafting. Now it has grown into the appearance of the one-eyed pirate captain Mi Kong.

In front of the canteen are rockery rocks, which are the famous Genyue stones. Take a look at this glazed flower bed and rockery.

There is a leafless shrub in the glazed flower bed in the picture above, which is a very famous Taipinghua. Taipinghua first grew in the Sichuan Basin. In the Song Dynasty, Shu people presented it to the emperor. Song Renzong bestowed the name Taipinghua and planted it in Bianjing City. When the Taipinghua in the imperial garden blooms in early summer every year, the leaves are green and white, lush and fragrant.

Now many parks in Beijing also have Taiping flowers. I have seen Taiping flowers blooming lushly in Tanzhe Temple, and they really have a strange fragrance.

On the side of the flower bed, there are dead trees cut by Qianlong from deep mountains and old forests, which cannot be replanted in spring. In fact, it was a petrified wood, that is, a tree trunk turned into fossils. Because it is very complete and the texture is beautiful, Lao Gan picked it up when he went up the mountain to pick mushrooms, and stamped it here with engraved words.

At the end of the walk to the east, there is a wall door leading to the East Sixth Palace, called Qiongyuan East Gate.

Under the east wall of the Royal Garden in the north of the gate, there is a building sitting east and facing west.

This is Jiangxuexuan, five rooms wide and two rooms deep, with yellow glazed tiles on the top of the mountain. In front of it, there are three open pavilions with a yellow glazed tile rolling shed resting on the top of the mountain. Jiangxuexuan is one of the few beam-lifting structures in the palace, with nanmu doors and windows, and painted bamboo in the open pavilion. If you don't look at the roof, this is a folk building. The most special thing about Jiangxuexuan is its partition window edge flower. Although it is in the character "Wan" character, it has the edge of the word "Shou". This edge flower is called "Wan Shou Boundless". There were a few crabapple trees in the flower bed in front of Jiangxuexuan, and when spring came, there were flowers, and when spring passed, the petals fell like snowflakes. It was really beautiful, so it was named Jiangxuexuan. After Empress Dowager Cixi came, she changed her mood and dug Taipinghua from ancient Bianjing to replace those crabapple trees.

There is a pavilion in the north of Jiangxuexuan.

This pavilion is very beautiful, with four pillars on the bottom, an octagonal roof of yellow glazed tiles on the top, and three ridge beasts. There are Su-style paintings on the beams and squares, which have been around for a long time. Part of the paintings on the second-story squares are repainted to tell you what it looked like before. There is a new circle of white marble railings under the pavilion, and there is a circle of water tanks outside the railings. In the middle of the pavilion is a stone table? In fact, it was a manhole cover, and below it was a square well platform. Stretch your head out from the inside of the pavilion to see the top of the roof.

Hey, this roof is a skylight. You can see the upper beam-lifting structure of the bucket arch, adding two inner and outer corners to the four corners, and the top becomes an octagon. Four pillars support the eight slopes above. This is a well pavilion called the East Well Pavilion in the Imperial Garden. The skylight above is not for rainwater, but for water from the well. You see, there is no pulley on the well platform. They draw water by hanging a bucket on one end of a long pole, and then reach into the well to draw water up. Therefore, the long pole must have room to move up and down, which is what the skylight is for. There is also a well pavilion on Yuhuayuan West Road corresponding to this well pavilion, and the west well pavilion is exactly the same as this east well pavilion. There are many well pavilions in the Forbidden City, two of which were seen behind the Palace of Preserving Harmony in the front, and you can also see them in the East and West Sixth Palaces in the back. All the well pavilions in the palace are basically in the form of well pavilions behind the Palace of Preservation and Harmony, with four pillars and four corners and a square top. Only the two well pavilions in the Imperial Garden have four-pillared octagonal roofs. There are not many well-preserved well pavilions in the Forbidden City. By the way, there is also a pair of well pavilions in the Forbidden City that are very special. They are still well preserved, but the paint is a little off. Its special feature is the roof, which is neither the square roof like the one at the back of the Baohe Palace, nor the octagonal roof like the one in the imperial garden, but the yellow glazed tile rolling shed hanging from the top of the mountain. In order to open the way for the long pole for fetching water, there is a small skylight in the middle of the roof of the rolling shed. The pair of well pavilions are in a non-open area, which is not seen by ordinary tourists.

To the north of Dongjing Pavilion is Wanchun Pavilion, which was built in the fifteenth year of Jiajing in Ming Dynasty (AD 1536).

The well pavilion in front is four pillars changed to octagonal, and this Wanchun Pavilion is four pillars and double eaves on the Xieshan Mountain with a round and pointed roof, and it opens out of Xiamen on all sides. There is a circle of white marble handrails on the platform below, and there are handrails on each side before going out of Xiamen. Partition doors and windows, three crosses and six bowls of lattice flowers, Ruyi skirt boards. There are painted paintings of Ssangyong and seals on the horizontal beams, and the gold paste has come off. The ridge brake above is a colorful glazed vase with a gilt-bronze ribbon, a gilt-bronze canopy on top, and a gilt-bronze orb on top, which is very gorgeous.

This Wanchun Pavilion is gorgeous in color and exquisite in shape, which is rare in the world. This kind of circle structure below and above should symbolize the circle of sky and place. It was called Mingtang in ancient times, and it has existed since Zhou Dynasty. The main hall of Empress Wu Zetian in the Ziwei Palace in Luoyang in the Tang Dynasty was a hall in the form of a Mingtang, known as the Vientiane Shrine, and it was the largest wooden building in the world in history. The Anshi Rebellion during the Tang Xuanzong period began (the last year of Tianbao, 755 AD), and the Tang Dynasty went downhill. Less than ten years later, in the first year of Baoying (762 A.D.), the Huihe (Nianhe) people plundered Luoyang and burned down the Mingtang. As soon as the symbol of the national destiny fell, the Tang Dynasty turned from prosperity to decline. Although there were several ZTEs later, it was difficult to restore the prosperous Kaiyuan scene.

To the north of Wanchun Pavilion is Fubiting.

There is a pool under the Fubiting Pavilion, and there are fish but no shrimp in the pool. There is a stone bridge across the pool from north to south, and the Fubi Pavilion is built on the bridge. Because it seems that the bridge is much smaller than the pavilion, so you can't call this bridge a pavilion bridge, but it doesn't prevent you from calling this pavilion a waterside pavilion. The three-bay square pavilion was built in the eleventh year of Wanli in the Ming Dynasty (1583 A.D.), and the three-bay open pavilion in the south was added after the tenth year of Yongzheng in the Qing Dynasty (1732 A.D.). The pavilion is made of green glazed tiles with yellow trimmings and a pointed roof at the four corners, and a pearl ridge brake on the glazed dew plate. Changxuan is a green glazed tile rolling shed with yellow trimmings hanging from the top of the mountain. Although this open pavilion was added later, it is consistent with the style of the pavilion itself. Look carefully between the beams and squares under the eaves. Is there a layer of hollow wood carvings? Does it look like the railing or Huaban at the bottom of the railing? It is also called Huaban here, is it relatively rare?

Take a look at the wooden carvings of double dragons playing with pearls and fighting eight caissons in Fubiting.

To the north of the Fubiting Pavilion, with its back against the north wall of the Imperial Garden is the Qinzao Hall.

Qinzao hall is five rooms wide and one room deep, with yellow glazed tiles on the top of the mountain, and a verandah in front. This is the place where books are collected in the palace. When the emperor is visiting the garden, he can come here to pick up a book, hold the book and take a square step, obviously the emperor never tires of studying. During the reign of Qianlong, there was a big cultural project, which was the compilation of "Siku Quanshu". After the completion of the project, Qianlong selected some high-level texts from the whole book that were never tired of reading and holding tires to compile "Siku Quanshu Huiyao", and these pocket books (pocket books) were stored in this Qinzao hall. This is now the Forbidden City Bookstore, and it is still related to books.

After passing Qinzao Hall and going west, there is a commanding height in the imperial garden, which is Duixiu Mountain, and there is an imperial pavilion on the top of the mountain.

These mountain rocks look like Genyue stones, also known as Taihu stones. Song Huizong built the Longevity Mountain Palace in Bianliang, and sent people to pick various Taihu stones from the south, called "Hua Shi Gang". After the palace was completed, it was named Genyue. It is actually the most garden rockery in Chinese history. Later, in the second year of Jingkang (1127 A.D.), Jin soldiers captured Bianliang, demolished Genyue and piled Taihu stones to Yanjing to build a palace, which is now Beihai Park. Since then, the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties successively took the stone pile mountains from the Golden Palace Garden. The current royal Taihu stone rockery in Beijing is almost all taken from the Genyue stone in Beihai Park. The Yujing Pavilion on Duixiu Mountain is a square pavilion with four pillars, bucket arches and raised beams, with green glazed tiles, yellow trimmed corners and pointed tops on the top, and a gold-plated orb ridge brake on the dew plate. Although there are no eaves and corridors around, there is a circle of white marble handrails.

It was originally the Flower Viewing Hall built by Zhu Di. I think there must have been various seasonal flowers planted in the garden for the emperor to appreciate at that time. When Zhu Yijun became the emperor, he felt that according to Fengshui, the imperial palace should be backed by a high mountain, and the Meishan mountain in the north of the palace was a bit far away and unreliable. During the Wanli period, he piled rocks here to form a mountain, dug the rocks, built a building on the top of the mountain, and diverted water from the mountain to flow around. During the Double Ninth Festival, the emperor would drive a group of concubines to climb here, and when they climbed up, they could hold the beauties in their arms and look into the palace, and then sigh, "My palace is so magnificent, and my heart is so beautiful". Of course, after Zhu Yijun's infantile paralysis, he will definitely not be able to go to these beautiful mountains.

There are also some buildings symmetrically on the west and east roads of Qin'an Temple.

There is also a row of small shops under the west wall of Kunning Gate, and the west gate of Qiongyuan is a must, leading to the West Sixth Palace. In the opposite position to Jiangxuexuan, on the west road is Yangxingzhai, which faces east from west. This is a two-story double-queen building.

There is a five-foot-high bluestone platform under Yangxingzhai. There is a circle of white marble handrails on the platform, and there are handrails on the front to step up and down. In the Ming Dynasty, this building was called Lezhizhai, with a width of seven rooms. During the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty, three towers were added in front of the north and south ends, and now it is five rooms wide. The door is open in the open room on the first floor, and the blue brick sill wall and hanging windows are added in the second room and a little room. There is a circle of glazed ridges between the first and second floors. There are six partition doors on the second floor. There are eaves corridors in front of the upper and lower floors, and there are railings on the eaves corridors on the second floor. The roof of the building is a roof with yellow glazed tiles and single eaves. The horizontal squares are painted in Fangxinsu style with flowers and plants, and the top of the sparrows are also flowers and plants. The eaves columns and wall columns are all square columns. The towers on both sides are the corners, and the shape is the same as that of the front.

What are the Ming emperors doing in Lezhizhai? The "music" here is the music of music, and the meaning of music is to please the mind. How happy? Miao dance Qiang flute? It is estimated that this is Minghuang's audio-visual hall, watching videos and singing karaoke. The Qing emperors renamed it Yangxing Zhai, which actually means the same thing, except that the Qing emperors played calligraphy and painting here. After Pu Yi abdicated, he still lived in the harem according to the "Preferential Conditions for Clearing the Room". When he was in high school (14-19 years old), he hired an English teacher, Johnston from England. Johnston lived in this Yangxing Zhai at that time, and it was very convenient for Puyi to ride a bicycle from the Hall of Mental Cultivation along Xiyi Long Street to attend classes. Johnston had a great influence on Puyi, and Puyi's braids were fooled by Johnston.

There is a door on the palace wall on the north side of Yangxingzhai, and outside the door is a glazed screen wall.

To the north of this gate is Shufangzhai, and you can go forward to Baizimen on West Erchang Street and the lane in front of Chonghua Palace. In fact, there is also such a door on the north side of Jiangxuexuan on the east side of the Imperial Garden, and it is closed in front of the North Fifth Institute when going out.

There is also a rockery in front of Yangxingzhai, and there are caves in the mountain, where the emperor can play peek-a-boo with the maids and concubines in his free time.

There is a collage of stones on the path on the side of the rockery. Among them is a train with a carriage and wheels, which is the children's favorite. Often, when parents take their children to visit the Royal Garden, they ask the children to find the little train they looked for when they were young.

To the north of Yangxingzhai is the West Well Pavilion corresponding to the East Well Pavilion. Then there is Qianqiu Pavilion corresponding to Wanchun Pavilion. You can see that even the names correspond to each other. Qianqiu Wanchun and Qianqiu Pavilion were built at the same time in the 15th year of Jiajing in Ming Dynasty.

Qianqiu Pavilion and Wanchun Pavilion look exactly the same on the outside. This kind of spire was called "an umbrella" style in the Ming Dynasty. It's very expressive, isn't it? Go in and have a look.

It was very dark inside, only the little sunlight coming in through the leaky window illuminated the bucket arch.

After slowly getting used to the darkness, I found that the Beaulieu caisson on the circular ceiling is very beautiful. I set up the camera, opened the aperture and took a picture slowly.

The interior is decorated with gilded group crane and flat chess ceiling, and the middle is wood-carved and gilded panlong caisson, which is very beautiful. The Wanchun Pavilion and Qianqiu Pavilion are delicate and unique, with profound connotations in shape, and they are definitely architectural masterpieces in the palace.

On the east side of Qianqiu Pavilion, there is a four-shrine shrine with no corresponding buildings on Yuhuayuan East Road.

This is an octagonal pavilion facing south and north, with yellow glazed tile octagonal spires on top, orb ridge brakes on yellow glazed bowls, and eaves corridors around it. There is a building on the front, and a yellow glazed tile rolling shed rests on the top of the mountain. There are benches between the pillars of the eaves for tourists to sit and rest. The official name of this stuff is "lintel". The eaves and porches of folk buildings generally have this kind of lintel, and the ones below are called "stool lintels"; the stool lintels of folk pavilions are usually places where the husband sits and waits for his sister. The corresponding one on it is called "upside down lintel", which is usually under the horizontal beam, and the bird is below it. This is the imperial garden, and the top of the eaves pillars must be made of horizontal beams and sparrows. There are ornate boards, but there is no upside-down lintel.

Since it is called the Temple of Four Gods, there must be four gods enshrined in it. Which four? Not to mention, it must be the four great emperors from east to west, from north to south, namely Qinglong, Baihu, Suzaku and Xuanwu. This temple of four gods was also built in the 15th year of Jiajing in Ming Dynasty.

To the east of Qianqiu Pavilion is Sishen Temple, and to its north is Chengrui Pavilion corresponding to Fubiting.

Chengrui Pavilion and Fubi Pavilion are exactly the same. The pavilions were built in the eleventh year of Wanli in the Ming Dynasty (1583 AD), and the Baosha was built in the tenth year of Yongzheng in the Qing Dynasty (1732 AD). Zhao Guangyi, Emperor Taizong of the Song Dynasty, once wrote a poem "Fate and Knowledge", in which "Looking at the extreme from a distance, looking at the cloud head, the blue sea, the waves, the clear, the azure, the sun and the floating". The names of these two pavilions "Fubi" and "Chengrui" should be quoted from this sentence.

To the north of Chengrui Pavilion is Weiyuzhai, which corresponds to Qinzao Hall on East Road, with the same shape.

This row of houses was first called Duiyuxuan, and was renamed Yufangxuan in Jiajing of Ming Dynasty, and Weiyuzhai in Qing Dynasty. During the Yongzheng period of the Qing Dynasty, this house used to be a Buddhist hall, and there was a Buddhist hall in the imperial garden, as well as the Qin'an Hall, where both Buddhism and Taoism were cultivated.

There is a pavilion under the palace wall to the west of Chengrui Pavilion, which looks similar to the open pavilion in front of Jiangxuexuan on East Road. In fact, this pavilion should be called the gate hall. There is a gate on the palace wall inside it, and the Shufangzhai of Chonghua Palace is on the other side of the gate. Look at this gate hall, there are bench lintels under the eaves pillars, and upside-down lintels on top, which are standard lintels.

There is a small pavilion in a corner outside the west wall of Weiyuzhai. The four-pillar square pavilion, the four corners gather the sharp top, and the glazed orb ridge brake. There are also regular lintels for stools and upside-down lintels on top. This is Yucui Pavilion, a redo plaque. Yucui Pavilion was also built in the 15th year of Jiajing in Ming Dynasty, and it was called Yucui Pavilion at that time. When it was rebuilt in the Wanli period, it was renamed Yucui Pavilion. Although it is still pronounced as jade, it is more peaceful and less bookish.

In front of Yucui Pavilion is an old apricot tree that can still bloom in spring. Outside the east wall of Qinzao Hall on the East Road, there is also a square pavilion that is exactly the same as Yucui Pavilion, and they have the same experience. That pavilion was first called Jinxiang Pavilion, and now it is called Ningxiang Pavilion. The original name is very vulgar, but now it is called very elegant.

To the east of Weiyuzhai, there is a building opposite to Duixiu Mountain on the East Road, which is Yanhui Pavilion.

Yanhui Pavilion is three rooms wide and two rooms deep, with bucket arches and beams, and yellow glazed tiles with single eaves on the top of the mountain. The appearance of Yanhui Pavilion is two floors above and below. The upper floor has a circle of eaves and corridors, with railings for finding sticks. Look at the wooden cane railing, the clean bottle is completely different from the stone one.

Looking carefully, there is a waist eaves in the middle of the upper and lower floors of Yanhui Pavilion, a ridge above the eaves, and a bucket arch on the ridges, indicating that this is a "pavilion" with a dark layer. On the front of Yanhui Pavilion, there are six partition doors in the open room, and the lower part is a green brick sill wall, and the upper part is also a partition window. The grade of the open partition door is not high, just three moas, and the upper and lower partition doors and windows are all decorated with lantern frame ribs. Look at the gilded Ruyi skirt board on the partition door of Yanhui Pavilion.

During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, many women were needed in the palace to work or enjoy happiness. No matter what you come to do, you have to go through selection, that is, draft girls. At the beginning of the Ming Dynasty, women were drafted from Jiangnan, and the emperor sent a selection officer to Jiangnan. When you see or hear that a girl is good-looking, you will go to take a peek, and the selection officer will send it to Beijing for the emperor to choose. These girls are not for everyone, first of all they have to go through the identity check, first of all, girls of three religions and nine streams are definitely not acceptable, and then there are other requirements.

After Emperor Shunzhi of the Qing Dynasty entered the customs, Dorgon made a marriage for him, which was his own relative. Although the empress was beautiful, she had a bad temper and often made the emperor angry, so she was dismissed as concubine Jing. Shunzhi told his mother, Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang, that he would choose a daughter-in-law to be the queen this time, but in the end he chose his own relatives. Since then, Shunzhi has learned from the Ming emperors to arrange a draft women's conference, and the process is determined to hold a conference every three years. The emperor of the Qing Dynasty did not choose girls from any family. He wanted to choose girls from officials from the Eight Banners of Manchuria. Before each meeting, each family personally sent their daughters to the capital and stayed in a quarantine hotel designated by the royal family, and the royal family reimbursed travel expenses. When the day came, the royal family dispatched a small horsepower to bring these candidates to Shenwumen. A eunuch at the gate led these Weixiu girls into the palace through the side entrance of the Shenwu Gate, and they stood in a square inside the Shenwu Gate. Then, another eunuch led a group of six or seven girls into Shunzhen Gate and walked up to the gate of Yanhui Pavilion above. Why is it in front of the gate? You can't get in because the door isn't open. This audition is also graded. There is an audition here in front of the gate of Yanhui Pavilion, and there are mentors and eunuchs who are pre-selected according to whether they are pleasing to the eye. Those who are outstanding will go to Wei Yuzhai to register, while those who are weak will cancel this audition. After the audition, only one-third of the entrants remained, and entered the re-election. The re-election is still in Yanhui Pavilion, this time in the main hall, and the Weixiu girls are still in groups of six. The tutor eunuch asked them to walk around to see if their posture was correct; they also had to read a poem to see if they could read and sound well. Those who show up continue to register, and those who are rusty log out. After this round of re-election, only one-third of the entrants remained. After the re-election, there is a secret book. The secret book is not in Yanhui Pavilion, but in a secret room, Jingyixuan or Tiyuan Hall, which are not too far from the Imperial Garden. The instructors of the secret book are all mature women called mothers. This book is similar to the surgical examination during our physical examination and cannot be described. After the secret book, the remaining one-third, the showman is registered to stay in the palace, and the rusty one is canceled and released from the palace. After entering the secret school, there will be a period of trial operation, one is to train the etiquette in the palace; the other is to adapt to the loneliness in the palace. After the trial run, there is still one-third of the mature ones left, and this last one is the final show girl selected by this conference, which is one in eighty-one of the girls sent for selection by this conference. These show girls enter the emperor's hall for selection, and the emperor can choose a partner for himself from here. The ones that the emperor likes to stay are usually promises and constant presence, and there are occasional exceptions. Emperor Kangxi selected a beautiful girl as his concubine during the draft, which was Yongzheng's biological mother Wu Yashi. The emperor can also choose a partner for the adult princes from these show girls. It was the same Emperor Kangxi. In addition to choosing a concubine Wuya for himself, he also chose the Fujin Ulanara family, the eldest wife, for the then prince Yinzhen in the 30th year of Kangxi (AD 1691).

The labor and personnel system of court ladies in Ming and Qing Dynasties was quite different. The court ladies in the Ming Dynasty had a lifelong tenure, and they were sent to Xi Nei Anle Hall near Di'anmen after they got sick and old. There was a retirement system for court ladies in the Qing Dynasty. If a court lady was not honored by the emperor, she could retire and leave the palace when she was in her twenties. If you have a disease that is difficult to recover, you can still retire without waiting until you are twenty years old.

Behind Qin'an Hall, between Yanhui Pavilion and Duixiu Mountain, is a courtyard surrounded by low walls, with doors open on all sides.

Standing under the foundation of the Qin'an Palace and looking north, there is a series of doors.

In the picture above, Chengguang Gate is at the front, Shunzhen Gate is at the back, and Shenwu Gate is at the back. Passing through the gate of Shenwu Gate, you can see the gate of Jingshan Park and Qiwang Tower. This series of doors is part of the central axis of Beijing.

There is a gilt-bronze reclining elephant on each side behind the Chengguang Gate. You pay attention to this elephant, his front legs are prostrate, while his hind legs are kneeling. The homonym of the elephant itself is "Xiang", which means auspiciousness. The reclining elephant with this kind of leg position is called "blessing in the front and noble in the back", which is even more auspicious.

This courtyard is the north gate of the imperial garden, so its front faces north. Turn around and have a look, Chengguangmen.

Shunzhen Gate.

Yanhe Gate at the foot of Duixiu Mountain in the east.

To the west is the Jifu Gate of Your Excellency Yanhui.

The Shunzhen Gate was the Kunning Gate in Zhu Di's period. When the back corridor of the Kunning Palace was changed to the palace wall during the Jiajing period of the Ming Dynasty, the Guangyun Gate in the middle was renamed the Kunning Gate, and this gate was renamed the Shunzhen Gate. Those who are obedient, respectful and loyal, are also the motto of women in the palace. The courtyard behind Shunzhen Gate is of course its gate. If there are many people standing in this courtyard, it is called "the gate is like a city".

This group of doors are all wall-mounted doors, the side doors are exactly the same, the Chengguang door is slightly larger, and there are small glazed screen walls on both sides of the three of them. Once the Chengguang Gate was closed, it became a big shadow wall inside the Shunzhen Gate. Shunzhen Gate is also a wall-mounted gate on the palace wall. It has three openings and is very formal.

Shunzhen Gate is the passage from the inner court to the Shenwu Gate, the back door of the imperial palace, and it is usually closed. When will it open? When there is a dojo in Qin'an Hall, it will definitely open. After registering and swiping the green code, you can enter Qin'an Hall from here. The queen left the palace to go to Beihai and Yuanmingyuan from here. If the female relatives in the palace are ordered to meet relatives, only the Shunzhen Gate is opened, and relatives can come in through the Shenwu Gate to meet the female relatives in the palace in the courtyard of the Shunzhen Gate. In the Ming Dynasty, if a palace official died, the coffin would go out from the west gate of Shunzhen Gate. When drafting girls in the Qing Dynasty, they walked in through the west gate of Shunzhen Gate, and then walked through Jifu Gate to Yanhui Pavilion.

There are still some vehicles in the palace that go through the Shenwu Gate, but they can't go through the Shunzhen Gate. They can only go through Dongxitongzi Changjie and Dongertongzi Street on both sides. These vehicles include incoming water trucks and outgoing dung trucks, as well as incoming coal trucks and outgoing coal ash trucks.

In the past, in addition to entering the Meridian Gate and heading north to see the Imperial Garden, you could also enter the Shenwu Gate and go south through the Shunzhen Gate to enter the Imperial Garden. Now the Shenwumen can only go out but not in, so Youyu Garden walks from south to north. After visiting the Imperial Garden, walk out of Shunzhen Gate and you will find Shenwumen Square, also known as Beiheng Street.

The route from south to north in the Forbidden City is considered to be the end of the journey. I walked through Tiananmen Square, the main gate of the imperial palace, and then the Yukuduanmen, Quemen Meridian Gate, Chaomen Taihe Gate, and the Sleeping Gate Qianqing Gate; I saw the imperial gate of the Ming Dynasty to listen to politics. The Gate of Supreme Harmony, the main hall of the imperial palace, the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Gate of Qianqing where the royal gate was in charge of politics in the Qing Dynasty, and the Palace of Qianqing in the Yan Dynasty. These are the Five Schools and Three Dynasties. I looked at the three courtyards of the first three halls of the outer court, and the three courtyards of the three rear palaces of the inner court, as well as the imperial garden. After seeing all the middle roads of the Ming and Qing palaces, it is time to go east and west.

(to be continued)