Marble Boat 石舫

Marble Boat 石舫

The boat is now the only western-style structure in the Summer Palace. Inlaid with colorful glass windows and wheels and paved with colored bricks, the boat is 36 meters long, and two stories and eight meters high. Using the huge mirrors fixed on each deck, Cixi could enjoy the exquisite lake scene while having tea. The roof of the two-decked pavilion is made from brick carvings. Four dragon heads mounted in each direction serve as drains, allowing rain water to be channeled out of their mouths. With its arcing stern and bow and a hull shaped like paddle wheels, the big boat looks very much like a steamer ready for sailing. A thick layer of moss covers the outside of the boat revealing its long tenure here. Visitors can view the boat by walking the length of the Long Gallery that begins at the Gate of Inviting the Moon (Yaoyuemen) close to the eastern gate of the Summer Palace.

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