Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Qing Yan Fǎng ~ the Boat of Purity and Ease

At the Summer Palace, in Beijing, there is this beautiful stone structure supporting a two-story wooden pavilion, painted to look like a marble ship.

One of the empresses was prone to seasickness, so the "ship" was built for her to enjoy the water without leaving the stability of land.

On each deck, there are large mirrors that reflect the water, creating a sensation of being totally immersed.

It is also said that the pavilion may have been designed after Wei Zheng, a Tang Dynasty chancellor, told the emperor "The waters that float the boat can also swallow it", meaning that the people who support the him also have the power to over throw him.

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