Friday, June 18, 2010

The Finale of Summer Palace

Here's the finale of the Summer Palace. Loaded with more photos and captions. In this posting we will be heading to the 17 Arch Bridge as well as some pavilion and the chance to see the statue of Dragon King.

 Another Suzhou road on the way to the bridge..it's a long walk to that bridge unless you want to take a boat ride..but it was very windy that day.

And on the way I came across one of the Emperor's hall..well this photo was taken from outside..no one is allowed to get inside. This hall is called The Hall of Jade Ripples (Yulan Tang). These area were living quarters for Emperor Guangxu.This room was used to read submissions to the throne and conduct court affairs in the central room. These table was made from red sandalwood inlaid with eaglewood, glass screens decorated with landscape paintings, and fans made with emerald green feathers - which are the symbols of imperial power.

and this is Wenchang Tower (Wenchang Ge) the largest of of the six gate forts in the Summer Palace garden. It was  first built in the year 1750 and rebuilt under the Emperor Guangxu after it was burned  down by the Anglo-French Allied Forces burned down in 1860. A bronze statue of the god, Wenchang, and statues of two followers, the celestial boy, and the bronze steed, were placed in the double story pavilion.

This is the Zhichun Ting (Heralding Spring Pavilion) This small pavilion was built on a small island in front of the Hall of Jade Ripples, beside Kunming Lake's east bank. With good feng shui, the pavilion backs on a hill and to the South it faces the Sun. This position permits a privilege view of Spring's arrival and provides the best overall view of Longevity Lake  and Kunming Lake.

 Strong wind around the Kunming Lake..


A view of the temple from the pavillion
The 17 Arch Bridge

The Seventeen-Arch Bridge (十七孔桥) was built in the 1750 during the Emperor Qianlong's reign. This 150m meter long bridge links the East Bank and South Lake Island. It is the longest bridge in any Imperial Chinese garden. Over 50 stone lions in different positions and poses were carved on the posts of the bridge railings.









across the bridge you will be able the statue of the Dragon King



A beautiful view from the 17 arch bridge





The Bronze Ox (同牛) was cast during the Emperor Qianlong's reign. As it looks like a lifelike bearing, it was placed here and was said to control floods. The eighty word ode entitled "Inscriptions on the Golden Ox" was written by Emperor Qianlong in traditional "seal" style calligraphy





The seal style calligraphy by Emperor Qianlong..anyone knows how to read and interpret this?

That's the end of the 4 Summer Palace Series..hope you enjoy this posting
For those who have missed the previous 3 series, you can check it out by clicking on the links below:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Escape to Summer Palace 3

The part 3 of the Summer Palace Series shall cover about the Tower of Buddhist Incense (佛香阁)。 It was originally built during the reign of Emperor Qianlong but was unfortunately burned down by the Anglo-French Allied Forces in 1860. From then it was rebuilt again to it original design and style during the Emperor Guangxu's reign )1875-1908). The tower itself gas 3 storers with four layered eaves, standing tall at 36.44 meter. On a 20 meter high stone foundation, it constitues the center of the Summer Palace landscapes.



Inside this pagoda tower resides the Thousand Hand Guanyin Buddha (千手观音)。Cast in 1574, this statue was originally named the "Statue of Guanyin Bodhisattva". The five meter high bronze figure gilded with head of four tiers each completed with 3 faces (total 12 faces and 24 arms). As expected the statue sits on a lotus seat of nine layers (999 petals). Cast with superb workmanship, the grand


The tower from near and the Thousand Hand Quanyin, sorry for the bad shot as I had to do it fast..no photos allowed actually but everyone seems to enjoying taking the photos.


More photos of the journey below:
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An overview of the whole area of the Summer Palace from the Tower..well this is just 70% of the area..

A walkway down

The tower from below (HDR photo)

Considered as the front gate overlooking the Kunming Lake

Pagoda Tower from the front gate..I just love the view from here

Some vertical shooting in HDR edits


And not to forget Cherry Blossoms at the Summer Palace blooming during the Spring Season

and some 'serabut' stone carvings below..I do not know how to appreciate this kind of art though.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

4 Great Regions in the Summer Palace

Back to the 2nd series of the Summer Palace..well this part is going to be the 4 Great Regions in the Summer Palace. These 4 Great Regions were built during the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1736-1795). As you can see the buildings below, it's of Tibetan Buddhism style. The 4 regions were given the name Jambudvipa, Uttarakara, Purvavidewa and Aparagodahiya. The meaning of these Sanskrit name are basically names of continents. Most of the structures were burnt down during the Anglo-French Allied Forces and were rebuilt to the original design in the year 1980.



Perspective shot of the staircase

 As you ascend the stairs you will see an old Chinese gate..and opps..forgot the entrance though

One of the 'Great' Regions

Tibetan Pagoda

Rooftop design of Double Dragon

 Just from a photography's POV...

 Two watch towers

Another perspective view of the staircase in between the two watchtower

After getting through the watch tower, you will come across a temple with many Buddha carvings..which is similar to the Pagoda of Ten Thousan Buddhas in Kek Lok Si

That's the end for the Part 2 of Summer Palace Series. The Part 3 and Part 4 will be the main course of this series up next...Enjoy the long weekend!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Shopping in Magical Suzhou

The part 1 of the Summer Palace Series in Beijing. It's one of the largest historical area I've ever been so far...The area's bloody huge and I took approx. 3 hours to tour the whole palace complex. The first part of the summer palace is the so called Suzhou Street..well Suzhou Street in Beijing? You must be kiddin me! But yes.. this mock Suzhou Street was a shopping street built in the Summer Palace with typical street scene in the lower Yangtze Valley. During the Qing Dynasty period, this street was built for the empress and concubines for leisure and stroll. The palace officials will act as traders in the shops around at that time along this 300 metres long street.



The entrance to the Summer Palace


and here we go!


That's where we got down to the street


video
A video clip of the surrounding...Watch it!!! You're gonna like it


Today the street looks exactly what it was in the early days with the 18th century mood in China..everything was preserved and restored very well and is thronged by tourists who come for souvenirs.




Weeping willow by the small river and you could enjoy the relaxing scenery on the boat as well as musics from Chinese flute around..

Lion's head on the bridge made from high quality stones


one of the many bridges made from marbles and stones

Love the scenery here, it would be a romantic place to be with your love ones

Upnext....part 2 of the Summer Palace series!
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