The magnificent Long Corridor at the Summer Palace in Beijing, is 728 metres in length.
It has crossbeams under the roof which divides the corridor into 273 sections, all of which are richly decorated with art. When the Qianlong Emperor authorized the construction of a palace garden in 1750, he also commissioned the building of the Long Corridor at the Summer Palace for his mother. This was so that she could enjoy a walk through the gardens, and at the same time be protected from the elements by a sheltered passage-way. It took 15 years to complete. Following its destruction in 1860 the Long Corridor was included in Empress Dowager Cixi’s rebuilding program.
The Long Corridor is richly decorated with 14,000 paintings.
The paintings depict historical and legendary figures from folk tales, episodes from Chinese classical literature, as well as traditional classical landscapes with birds, fish, flowers and all the beauty of nature. They are quite astonishing in their brilliance of color, detail and design. The Long Corridor is an amazing gallery depicting Chinese art and culture. You could spend hours admiring the beautiful paintings, and finding out about the legends, battles and stories each one tells.
The Long Corridor leads from the ‘Gate for Greeting the Moon‘, in the east, westwards along the northern shore of Kunming Lake. It runs through a main Pavilion known as the ‘Cloud-dispelling Gate ‘which is the central point of the corridor. Empress Cixi traditionally celebrated her birthday in the main pavilion. There are four pavilions along the course of the Long Corridor which symbolize the four seasons. They are octagonal pavilions with double eaves, two on each side of the ‘Cloud-dispelling Gate’. There are two major paintings over the two doorways of each of the four pavilions on the eastern and western sides.
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