Cixi's Marble Boat
This Marble Boat tells an interesting piece of Chinese history. The Summer Palace (Yíhéyuán) where the boat lies was originally a royal garden. In the 18th century Emperor Qianlong (and some 100.000 workers) expanded the vast artificial lake (Kunmíng Hú) so it was large enough to hold navy drills. Anglo-French troops badly damaged the palace buildings in the Second Opium War (1860) and in 1888 the Empress Cixi began to restore the buildings, using funds that had been intended for building a modern navy fleet. The marble boat was the only thing navy-like about her restoration.
Posted Monday 29 December 2003 | a | 7415 views
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