Palace of gathered elegance (Chuxiu Gong)
Palace of gathered elegance
The palace of accumulated elegance is located in the western annexes of the inner courtyard, it is one of the 6 palaces of these annexes. This pavilion was built on the site of the former pavilion and its door. Empress Dowager Cixi dined, drank tea and rested here when she lived in the Palace of Accumulated Elegance (Chuxiu Gong). In 1885 this palace was completely restored and redecorated for the birthday of Cixi (She was celebrating her 50th birthday). This work cost 630,000 taels of silver. In 1887 she presided over a ceremony to select the empress and concubines for Emperor Guangxu (circa 1875-1908).
This palace still contains the furniture of the Cixi period, at the end of the 19th century. They are particularly beautiful, very decorated. The room hosts a throne framed by floral arrangements made of precious stones. The visitor can discover on the throne an engraved scepter of a bat as well as screens, as often, precious wood inlaid with ivory. Ivory was a coveted material, the room also contains two boats of this material, one in the shape of a Phoenix and the other in the shape of a Dragon. Both boats are shot by 42 "immortals". There is also a bronze pendulum supported by a camel, and at the entrance to the palace two dragons and two bronze deer on stone pedestals.
This palace is part of six Western palaces, in the inner courtyard.
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