Marble Boat

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The Marble Boat (), also known as the Boat of Purity and Ease (Qing Yan F«éng) 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 on order of the 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 fourhollow pillars. The water is finally released into the lake through the mouths of four dragonheads.

The boat design of the pavilion may relate to a quote attributed to Wei Zheng, a chancellor of the Tang Dynasty renowned for his honest...
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