Travelogues

Forbidden City 3/5 On the trail of Yanxi 延禧攻略

There was a really popular TV series about Empress Ling, the third empress during the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty. Because of the popularity, many of the palaces become household names. If only our history classes were as easy to remember as these TV plots.

Besides the three main buildings there are the six eastern palaces and six western palaces, where the emperor used to handle everyday affairs, and which was the living quarters of the emperor, expresses, and concubines. Converted into exhibition halls, they now display a spectacular set of imperial treasures.

自古对于皇帝的形容就是后宫佳丽三千,掌管“三宫六院”,其实说的并不准确。这“三宫”指的就是故宫的“后三宫”,只有一间坤宁宫是分配给皇后使用。而这“六院”说的便是紫禁城内廷的东西六宫了,总共有十二间。

为了减少嫔妃之间的往来,避免皇帝后宫起火,故宫内廷的东西两边各修建了六座相互独立的院落,每一个小院有正殿和后殿,并设有东西配殿,这就是东六宫和西六宫。按照最初的设计,每个院子分给一位嫔妃使用,可没想到在贵妃、妃、嫔、贵人、常在、答应这一系列名头诞生后,院子的数量时常不够分配,只得前殿一人、后殿一人,有时地位较低的只能分到一间偏殿。

Six Eastern Palaces 东六宫

As the name Six Eastern Palaces indicates, this region houses six palaces in the same styles located on the east side of the axis in the Inner Court, which are Palace of Great Benevolence (Jingrengong), Palace of Celestial Favour (Chengqiangong), Palace of Eternal Harmony (Yonghegong), Palace of Great Brilliance (Jingyanggong), Palace of Purity (Zhongcuigong) and Palace of Lasting Happiness (Yanxigong).

景仁宫、承乾宫、钟粹宫、延禧宫、永和宫和景阳宫合称东六宫,是内廷嫔妃们的生活空间,历史上乾隆皇帝的母亲崇庆太后、东太后慈安太后、光绪皇帝宠爱的珍妃等都曾在东六宫居住。

东六宫位于三大殿东侧,以东二长街为轴分为左右两边,左侧依次为景仁宫、承乾宫和钟粹宫,右侧依次为延禧宫、永和宫和景阳宫。与西六宫不同,东六宫并未受到大规模的改造,基本还保持着明代初建时的模样。

First built in 1420, these buildings provided living quarters for the imperial concubines. Most were restored during the 17th century and now most have been turned into exhibition halls to display Chinese treasures collected by the imperial family.

Palace of Great Benevolence 景仁宫

Built in 1420, this Palace was the residence of imperial concubines in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. It has maintained its original layout to this day. If you enter through the main gate, you’ll see a stone screen said to be a relic from the Yuan dynasty, which ruled over China from 1271 to 1368. Now it is an exhibition hall for exhibiting the donated cultural relics.

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景仁宫坐落在西六宫的西南角,距离乾清宫最近。顺治十一年(1654年),康熙皇帝就是在这里降生。历史上乾隆皇帝的母亲崇庆太后、康熙皇帝的母亲佟太后、光绪皇帝宠爱的珍妃都曾在景仁宫居住,但她们的命运却大相径庭。崇庆太后一生享尽荣华,享年86岁;佟太后在康熙登基后不久便去世,年仅24岁;珍妃是她们之中最悲惨的一位,她因支持光绪皇帝变法得罪了慈禧太后及隆裕皇后,1900年八国联军攻入北京,慈禧在逃离紫禁城前,命人将珍妃推入井中淹死,如今在故宫的宁寿宫区域内还可以看到那口珍妃井。

Emperor Kangxi, most exalted of the Qing emperors (or any other dynasty), was born here in 1654. His prosperous reign lasted 61 years. The palace has two courtyards with terraces looking onto them, corridors with porticoes and a small pavilion built over a well that was used to wash offerings before they were taken to the sacred kitchens.

Palace of Celestial Favour 承乾宫

Built in 1420, this palace was the residence of imperial concubines in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.

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Palace of Celestial Favour 承乾宫

承乾宫,内廷东六宫之一。明永乐十八年(1420年)建成,初曰永宁宫,崇祯五年(1632年)八月更名承乾宫。清沿明旧。顺治十二年(1655年)重修,道光十二年(1832年)略有修葺。

宫为两进院,正门南向,名承乾门。前院正殿即承乾宫,面阔5间,黄琉璃瓦歇山式顶,檐角安放走兽5个,檐下施以单翘单昂五踩斗栱,内外檐饰龙凤和玺彩画。明间开门,次、梢间槛墙、槛窗,双交四椀菱花槅扇门、窗。室内方砖墁地,天花彩绘双凤,正间内悬乾隆皇帝御题“德成柔顺”匾。殿前为宽敞的月台。东西有配殿各3间,明间开门,黄琉璃瓦硬山式顶,檐下饰旋子彩画,崇祯七年(1634年)安匾于东西配殿曰贞顺斋、明德堂。此宫在明代为贵妃所居。清代为后妃所居,清顺治帝皇贵妃董鄂氏,道光帝孝全成皇后、琳贵妃、佳贵人,咸丰帝云嫔、婉贵人都曾在此居住。

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Palace of Celestial Favour 承乾宫

Palace of Accumulated Purity 钟粹宫

Built in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and rebuilt in 1655. The Qing (1644-1911) Xianfeng Emperor (r. 1851-1861) once lived here with his mother in his childhood. The Emperor Guangxu’s Empress occupied the palace early or late.  Closed for restoration – I can only be at the front of the door.

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Palace of Accumulated Purity 钟粹宫

钟粹宫面阔五间,在明代时曾是皇太子的住所。清代咸丰皇帝幼年丧母,他在钟粹宫生活了十余年之久。咸丰登基后立钮钴禄氏为皇后,并将她安排在与自己朝夕相伴的钟粹宫居住,这位皇后就是后来的慈安太后。慈安太后因久居钟粹宫,有“东太后”之称,曾与“西太后”慈禧一同垂帘听政,掌控清朝大权。

Palace of Prolonging Happiness 延禧宫

This is the palace of the main protagonist of the TV series, Empress Ling 令贵妃. The Hall of Prolonging Happiness (Yanxi gong) was destroyed by fire during the Daoguang reign (1821-1850). In 1931, a few years after the Palace Museum was founded, three two-storied warehouses were built for storing artifacts.

延禧宫内廷东六宫之一,位于东二长街东侧。建于明永乐十八年(1420年),初名长寿宫。嘉靖十四年(1535年)改称延祺宫。清代又改名为延禧宫,康熙二十五年(1686年)重修。明清两朝均为妃嫔所居,清道光帝之恬嫔、成贵人曾在此居住。

延禧宫原与东六宫其它五宫格局相同,为前后两进院,前院正殿5间,黄琉璃歇山顶,室内悬乾隆皇帝御笔匾曰“慎赞徽音”,东壁悬乾隆《圣制曹后重农赞》,西壁悬《曹后重农图》。殿前有东西配殿各3间。后院正殿5间,亦有东西配殿各3间,均为黄琉璃瓦硬山顶

It used to be the residence of consorts and concubines during the Ming and the Qing dynasties. After the destruction, it remained in ruin. In 1909, the Qing government initiated the construction of a western-style “Hall of water” in a pool. The hall is built on a white marble base, with iron cast and glass walls and floors. By its completion, water would be filled into the poll surrounding the hall, so that people inside the pavilion could view the swimming fish through the transparent glass walls. It is popularly known as the “crystal palace”.

道光二十五年(1845年)延禧宫起火,烧毁正殿、后殿及东西配殿等建筑共25间,仅余宫门。同治十一年(1872年)曾提议复建,但未能实现。宣统元年(1909年)在延禧宫原址兴工修建一座3层西洋式建筑–水殿。水殿四周浚池,引玉泉山水环绕。主楼每层9间,底层四面当中各开一门,四周环以围廊。楼之四角各接3层六角亭1座,底层各开两门,分别与主楼和回廊相通。据《清宫词》、《清稗史》记载,水殿以铜作栋,玻璃为墙,墙之夹层中置水蓄鱼,底层地板亦为玻璃制成,池中游鱼一一可数,荷藻参差,青翠如画。隆裕太后题匾额曰“灵沼轩”,俗称“水晶宫”。

However, not long after the project was launched it stopped due to the tight budget. Now, the marble carvings and the iron cast are only for visitors to imagine.

事实上,该殿所有构架均为铁铸,殿内4根蟠龙纹柱也系铸铁锻造。整座建筑大都以汉白玉砌成,很少用砖,外墙雕花,内墙贴有白色和花色瓷砖。因国库空虚,水晶宫直至宣统三年(1911年)冬尚未完工,后被迫停建。宣统二年(1910年)六月,隆裕太后还曾下令西苑电灯公所给延禧宫安装电暖炉、电风扇并添安电灯。

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1917年张勋复辟时,延禧宫北部被直系部队飞机投弹炸毁。1931年,故宫博物院将其改建为文物库房。

多少年来东西六宫的主人换了一批又一批,无数皇子在此出生,又引发了数不清的权力斗争。但最终的结果只有一个:胜者王侯败者寇。

Date Visited : Apr 2019

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