Wednesday

UNESCO - Marble Boat, Summer Palace, Forbidden City, China


Had to do a bit of detective work to know what this one was as there is nothing on the back but I'm thrilled with it because, 1) I'm totally fascinated by The Forbidden City, and 2) this is 'The Marble Boat' which is situated in the Summer Palace and counts as a UNESCO card for my collection. I already have this site ticked off but I'm happy with all the Forbidden City cards so the more the merrier.

Wiki says - "The Marble Boat, also known as the Boat of Purity and Ease, is a lakeside pavilion on the grounds of the Summer Palace in Beijing, China.
It was first erected in 1755 during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor. The original pavilion was made from a base of large stone blocks which supported a wooden superstructure done in a traditional Chinese design.
In 1860, during the Second Opium War, the pavilion was destroyed by Anglo-French forces. It was restored in 1893 on order of Empress Dowager Cixi. In this restoration, a new two-story superstructure was designed which incorporated elements of European architecture. Like its predecessor, the new superstructure is made out of wood but it was painted to imitate marble. On each "deck", there is a large mirror to reflect the waters of the lake and give an impression of total immersion in the aquatic environment. Imitation paddlewheels on each side of the pavilion makes it look like a paddle steamer. The pavilion has a sophisticated drainage system which channels rain water through four hollow pillars. The water is finally released into the lake through the mouths of four dragonheads."

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