SUMMER PALACE, Hall Of The Sea Of Wisdom

Audio File length: 2.30
English / USA Language: English / USA

At the top of the hill sits the marvelous Hall of the Sea of Wisdom, a two-storey Buddhist temple made of bricks, although at first sight it looks like wood. The magnificent external walls are decorated with yellow and green tiles, inlaid with an impressive 1008 glazed statues of Buddha.

The top part of the building, in contrast, is painted in purple and blue. Take a look at the arched marble doorways on both the facade and at the rear: some of them are fake!

The Hall was fortunate enough to survive the fire in 1860 because, as I mentioned earlier, it was one of only two buildings in the Summer Palace not built in wood. However, the statue of Buddha inside the building and the small statues on the outside did suffer serious damage, and later had to be restored.

Inside the Hall, you’re sure to be impressed by the superb paintings on the walls, depicting clouds and flowers, and the splendid statue of the Goddess of Mercy, seated on the lotus throne, with a jade bottle in one hand and willow leaves in the other. Take a moment to admire the beautiful statues of the two Buddhist deities in the niches at either side of the entrance.

Once you’ve visited this Hall, you can go back down the hill and visit other monuments, or just relax and enjoy the view.

I do suggest, however, a walk around the lake and a stop at the delightful island of Nanhu, linked to dry land by the splendid, marble Seventeen-Arch Bridge.

Before heading to the exit, you can also walk to the end of the Long Gallery, where you’ll find the original, unmissable Marble Boat, with a stone hull and a wooden top, resembling the ferry boats that Empress Cixi was so fond of.


An interesting fact: look out for the fascinating Suzhou Market Street, which looks onto the water amid delightful scenery and imitates a shopping street in Suzhou, in southern China. It is just 270 meters long, and features shops in southern style, with gray bricks and tiles and white walls. The shops are much smaller than normal, because the only purpose of this market was to allow the members of the royal family to pretend to buy things and experience the thrill of shopping.


Our visit to the Summer Palace ends here. MyWoWo would like to thank you - see you again at another Wonder of the World!


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