The truth about the “water prison” in the Summer Palace

The building on this isolated island is called Zhijing Pavilion. This photo was taken around 1865. From the year of the photo, the building of Zhijing Pavilion was not at least destroyed by the British and French forces. The Zhijing Pavilion was built on an isolated island in the lake, surrounded by water, and there was no land connection. Therefore, it was avoided when the Eight-Power Allied Forces burned the Summer Palace.

However, if you have the opportunity to climb on the island today, you will find that the gigantic Zhijing Pavilion has long since disappeared, leaving only a pile of broken walls. So how did such a large group of buildings disappear? According to the current data, it is inferred that the building in the lake was not destroyed by war, but when Cixi rebuilt the Summer Palace, due to lack of wood, the Zhijing Pavilion was demolished directly, and the materials were diverted to other places. To put it plainly, the building was not destroyed by aggression. Instead, his hands were demolished.

Wu Zhijing Pavilion was a relatively important building in Qingyi Garden. During the Qianlong period, a painter named Hongye was a royal family. He drew a picture of the water conservancy, and there is a part about Qingyi Garden. It can be seen from the picture that the body occupied by the Zhijing Pavilion is still quite large.. The shape of the Zhijing Pavilion is modeled after the mandala.

The mandala, a Sanskrit transliteration of Datura, is a cosmic model of the Buddhist world, an important prop for the display and imagination of Tibetan Buddhism during tantra practice, and the design of the two walls of the Zhijing Pavilion and the high- level pavilion is itself a small The mandala, and through the plaque, it integrated the classical culture of the Han people into Tibetan Buddhist architecture. Qianlong s accomplishments in Buddhism, especially Tibetan Buddhism, are profound. The Qingyi Garden, the predecessor of the Summer Palace, embodies the meaning and symbol of Buddhism.

Zhijing Pavilion is very special. It has a city about five feet tall on the outer layer and a city twice as high as the outer city. A three-story pavilion is built on this platform. This three-story pavilion According to the religious world , it is a mandala-style building. It uses the traditional architectural form of the Han people to express the religious concepts of Tibetan Buddhism. In the past, because it was a restricted area, no one had visited it, so people had doubts about what the building was doing, so that some people later said that it was a water cell, and the eunuch of the palace had made a mistake and locked it in. This is actually a misunderstanding.

What is the purpose of Zhijing Pavilion? In the Qing Dynasty, there was a detailed record of what was put in these buildings inside the royal garden, such as what furniture there was, what antiques were put on the furniture, and what was hanging on the wall. Qingyi Garden has thirty-six points, and each point has a list of furnishings. According to the records, there are three floors in the Zhijing Pavilion. The first floor has a platform that is made of wood. Some are called flat beds. They are now available in the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace. On this platform, there is the throne of the emperor, and there are two blue cricket feather fans next to the throne, which can only be the emperor s things. There is also a sword hanging on the other wall. If you think about it, what kind of sword is there in the place of eunuch Guan? Absolutely impossible.

There is also a throne on the second floor. What does the throne on the second floor look like? It is a chair-type throne, a throne like a chair, which shows that the emperor is sitting there. What is the third layer? It is a Buddha statue for worship, a bronze Buddha statue, what is the name of this Buddha statue? Called Wuliang Shoufo. That is to say, this place is still a religious building, but it is also a place for the emperor to visit and enjoy the scenery here. Therefore, according to the furnishings, it is absolutely impossible to be a water prison where the eunuchs are detained, nor is it the place where the Qing army stood and watched.

This place is actually used by the emperor for self-cultivation. You can see that there is a plaque in its existing ruins. It is called a look-up view. This look-up view is said in Wang Xizhi s Lanting Preface . Look up at the universe and look at the prosperity of the category. Look at the sky, look down at the ground, how much grace, is it possible for eunuchs to come here and look up? It is absolutely impossible.

History has changed, although the Summer Palace on the surface continued the design of the Qianlong period, but many buildings are no longer the original design, especially the extremely rare high-rise buildings in Chinese classical architecture, the loss is even greater. The island Phoenix Pier was originally modeled after the Huangbu Pier in the Grand Canal of Wuxi. An exquisite Phoenix Pavilion was built. During the Daoguang reign, the emperor worshipped Taoism because he had several daughters in a row. He was ordered to demolish it; the Houshan Temple s Xiangyan Zongyin Pavilion is a model of the King Kong Throne Temple modeled after the Tibetan Sangye Temple. Building. Fortunately, its sister building can be seen at Puning Temple in Chengde today. In addition, there are only ruins on the three- story building Xuanxuan and Huacheng Pavilion.

The loss of high-rise buildings in the Summer Palace was partly due to the fighting and the will of the emperors of the past. Interestingly, although the Summer Palace was shorter than the Qingyi Garden as a whole, the Summer Palace reconstructed by Cixi also had tall buildings.

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