Hall of joyful longevity (Leshou tang)
To the north of the Spiritual Culture Pavilion is the Temple of Joyful Longevity. It is a creation of 1772, restored in 1802 and rebuilt in 1891. The width, on which is the entrance, makes seven arches and the depth three. There are corridors all around. In meters, the total width is 36.15m and the depth of 23.20m, the building covers an area of 839 square meters. It has a yellow glazed tile roof and its general architecture is typical of the Qianlong period. The ceiling is made of wood carvings, giving the room an impression of grace and luxury.
This pavilion is rather spacious. Qianlong having planned to retire there after his retirement, he was to be renamed "House of Reading" (It must have been a kind of office, for him). But since he never really retired, this room has kept its original name. In 1894, Dowager Empress Cixi, after ostensibly handing over power to Emperor Guangxu (1875-1908), lived in this pavilion, sleeping in the western heat chamber. The celebration of his 60th birthday also took place in the Joyous Longevity Room.
The Temple of Merry Longevity is now the 2nd exhibition hall. It mainly displays objects related to the daily life of the imperial household, such as Emperor Qianlong's imperial robe, the phoenix crown used as a burial object, and an invaluable ivory carpet made of delicate ivory strips. , woven about 250 years ago. The largest jade sculpture of the Forbidden City was also placed outside, just at the northern gate of the pavilion. Weighing more than 5 tons, the jade was mined in Xinjiang, and brought to Beijing, then to Yangzhou, where it was cut up. Ten years passed before the final sculpture returned to Beijing. The work of jade is so delicately done that this statue is a treasure of the nation.
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