The third chapter is the death of man-made disasters. The first section is the shame of history – burning the Yuanmingyuan

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“when you don’t see a Fang and Jianzhang, they are all dust, and there are fewer Ye halls and Sui palaces. Later, they boasted that they were called Yuanming, and their miraculous skills are unprecedented.” Although the alfang palace in history is famous, compared with it, the Yuanmingyuan in the heyday was a royal garden of the Qing Dynasty with magnificent scale and incomparably beautiful scenery.

in those days, people set out from Xizhimen, Beijing, along a wide chariot road paved with stones, and came to Guajiatun in the north of Haidian town. Looking up to the north, they could see that about 500 meters away, a glittering palace half revealed its tall and majestic posture, and the pavilion terrace loomed between green trees, There are jagged rocks standing on the artificially stacked earth mountain, and the side is full of exotic flowers and plants, ancient vines and trees. This is the Old Summer Palace, a royal garden that has been praised by people for many years, like a wonderland.

disaster history

garden of ten thousand gardens

the Old Summer Palace was once a world-famous garden. It was located in the northwest suburb of Beijing. It was built in 1709. Later, it was given to the fourth son Yin g (later emperor) by the then Emperor Kangxi. Yin g believed in Buddhism and was called “Yuanming” by the law. The Emperor Kangxi named the garden after his law, Also personally inscribed. After Yongzheng ascended the throne, he once listened to politics here and built it immediately. At that time, it was expanded again on a large scale, with 18 single garden doors. Emperor Qianlong, who had visited the south many times, had seen many famous gardens. He designated to transplant the Anlan courtyard in Haining, Zhejiang, the Lion Forest in Suzhou, the Qin garden in Huishan, Wuxi, and the ten scenic spots of the West Lake in Hangzhou for reproduction in the Yuanmingyuan. After repeated construction, the Old Summer Palace has reached an area of more than 330 hectares and a circumference of 10 kilometers. There are countless dragon and Phoenix pavilions, guidianlan palace and half water and half garden, which are incomparably magnificent and magnificent. Then, it was continuously modified in the,, and three dynasties. After more than 150 years, a large number of material resources were concentrated here, countless skilled craftsmen were slain, the blood and sweat of millions of working people were poured, and countless silver was spent.

the Old Summer Palace stretches for 10 kilometers and consists of the Old Summer Palace, Wanchun Garden and Changchun Garden. The Old Summer Palace is the largest, so it is collectively referred to as the Old Summer Palace (also known as the three old summer gardens). In addition, there are many subordinate gardens distributed in the East, West and south of the Yuanmingyuan, including Jingyi garden in Xiangshan, Jingming garden in Yuquan mountain, Qingyi Garden (the later Summer Palace was built on this basis), etc.

French priest Jiang Youren, who participated in the design of the western building in the park in the 18th century, once wrote: “in the Chinese courtyard, the scenery is emerging one after another, updated and different, and people have never been tired of traveling among them… The Chinese are good at decorating the garden, making the natural scenery more perfect.” Another French missionary, Wang Zhicheng, once wrote a letter back home and praised: “Chinese architecture has various forms and infinite changes, which makes me admire their infinite talents. By contrast, we are too poor and lifeless.”

the reason why the Old Summer Palace is famous in the world is not only because its appearance design is extremely beautiful, but also because it is equipped with a large number of cultural and artistic finished products of the Chinese nation and gold, silver and jewelry. According to the British who experienced the scene on the eve of the burning: “the throne and bedroom of the emperor are lined with ebony. The interior is equipped with various mirrors, clocks and instruments with automatic playing dolls, various porcelain and piles of colorful silk and embroidery. Everything you see in the Royal Palace of Windsor Castle represents a high degree of culture and luxury.” The French writer once wrote: “the collection of the treasures of China’s cathedrals is not equal to that of this huge and brilliant Museum in the East.” At that time, the Qing court plundered the precious cultural relics of all dynasties, especially priceless antiques, calligraphy and painting, together with the tributes and gifts sent by various vassal states, into this unparalleled luxury garden.

Robbers attacked

in June 1859, in the name of escorting representatives to Beijing to exchange treaties, the British and French invaders sent military boats carrying 2000 soldiers into Dagukou, took Tianjin at one stroke and drove towards Beijing. At that time, the emperor Xianfeng was in Daqing in his thirties. Although there were flames of war outside, the emperor still couldn’t forget his auspicious day. On the first day of his birthday, he was congratulated by the imperial court and respected by all the officials. On the next day, he led the whole class of the harem under imperial concubine Yi to hold a banquet in the Yuanmingyuan. However, Xianfeng didn’t expect the enemy to attack the capital directly and come so quickly. The frightened emperor fled in a hurry under the name of “Beishou”, leaving only his brother Prince Gong Yi? In Beijing, they negotiated with the British and French invaders. In this way, a mighty army holding the dragon and Phoenix chariot fled directly from the famous garden.

the British and French allied forces did not encounter any resistance in the whole capital, so they bypassed anding gate and Desheng Gate in Beijing, occupied Haidian area and marched towards the Yuanmingyuan. On October 6, the invading army followed the routed troops to the Old Summer Palace. Ren Liang, a junior patriotic officer of the Qing army who guarded the gate of the palace, fought bravely with his soldiers against the enemy until he died. After paying the price of blood, the coalition forces finally broke into the world’s top garden and launched an organized, planned, crazy and barbaric robbery and destruction.

the first to enter the Old Summer Palace was the French invading army. They robbed everything when they saw it. Every French soldier’s pocket was full of various treasures. They entered empty handed and returned with a full load. In the French military barracks, there are rare clocks and watches, colorful damask and precious works of art, which are worth up to 30 million francs. Then came the British Invaders. Although they were a little late, their pockets were still full of gold and silver. Faced with the large porcelain and f à L á ng utensils that could not be removed, they smashed them to pieces. After being robbed, the Old Summer Palace became devastated and messy. In order to sell the stolen goods and cover up the crime, the British plenipotentiary Elgin, with the support of British Prime Minister Palmerston, ordered to burn down the Old Summer Palace. October 18, 1860, aggressionThe Mikel cavalry regiment, with the support of its own bourgeois government, entered the Old Summer Palace, and the evil fire was lit.

for the situation at that time, The British chaplain makaji made a real record: “Soon after the order to burn the garden was issued, we saw a lot of smoke rising up and winding through the trees. These trees covered an ancient garden. The vast temple near the center of the garden was covered with yellow tiles on the roof, which twinkled in the sun. The scale tiles built a strange shape, which could only be conceived by the imagination of the Chinese people. Work in an instant Husband, dozens of places are emitting wisps of thick smoke and dense fog… Soon, these wisps of smoke gathered into a mass of smoke, and then gathered into a large mass of dark sky. Thousands of flames burst out, and the smoke is blue and black, blocking out the sky and the sun. All the temples, palaces, ancient buildings and wheels are resplendent, and the whole country worships them as sacred and solemn objects. They are burned together with the items collected by the past dynasties, rich in Royal flavor, exquisite and gorgeous, and full of commemoration… From then on, the respected architecture and excellence that people admire can no longer touch the eyes of mankind. These buildings are enough to commend the technology and style of the past. The only thing is that there is nothing comparable to them in the world. Once you have seen them, you can never see them again. They are invisible and cannot be rebuilt by mankind. ”

in this way, the old summer palace built by thousands of working people with their blood and sweat was reduced to ruins after 10 days of wanton robbery by the British and French coalition forces and endless fires on the 3rd!

Yuanmingyuan reconstruction

Yuanmingyuan became a mess after it was burned down by the British and French coalition forces. Almost all trees and houses were reduced to ashes and there were broken bricks and tiles everywhere. In 1872, the Empress Dowager wanted to rebuild this famous garden on the ruins. However, due to the tight financial situation of the country at that time, the construction work progressed very slowly, and the construction personnel often cut corners, resulting in the poor quality of the project. In 1900, when the Eight Power Allied forces invaded Beijing, the Old Summer Palace was looted again, and some of the scenery was damaged before it was repaired. After the foreign invaders retreated, the Qing government at that time was already tottering. At this time, the corrupt elements of the soldiers of the Eight Banners colluded with the local ruffians and bullies in Beijing, rushed into the Old Summer Palace, demolished the remaining palaces and halls, and cut down a few trees. They took away stones and bricks for auction, and sold wood and tree charcoal. By this time, the once “garden of ten thousand gardens” had completely become a barren garden.

3D restoration of the Old Summer Palace

after the founding of new China, many people put forward suggestions to repair this deserted “Royal Garden”, but whether to repair it in the ruins or “rebuild” the Old Summer Palace in a different place will always arouse people’s debate. Some people advocate preserving the ruins, because it is a historical witness and a disgrace to our Chinese nation. It should be preserved as it is to warn the people not to forget the national disgrace. We can heal the wounds of the past or restore the current level of technology, and we can also heal the wounds of the past.

although it is still uncertain whether to rebuild or not, as Mr. Liang Sicheng said: “no matter which towering ancient city building or the soul of a decaying Temple base, it is virtually telling and even singing the changes of time.” Today’s Old Summer Palace still retains the scene after it was destroyed at that time. The residual columns of guanshuifa at the south end of Yuanying temple in the western building are still standing on the ruins, and the residual walls and broken walls of very few buildings are still standing, but there is only a piece of wasteland left in more places. Every time we enter the Old Summer Palace, people will always sigh around our ears. We can’t imagine the prosperous scene of that year, leaving only a continuous sense of shame washing our souls.

when the encyclopedia

is in the relics of the Old Summer Palace, at present, the twelve animal heads that people are most concerned about. Since the British and French allied forces invaded China in 1860 and burned the Old Summer Palace, the bronze statue of the beast head has begun to be lost, and now only a small amount has been recovered.

twelve animal heads

twelve animal heads were designed by Lang shining, a Jesuit priest in China at that time and made by the craftsman of the Qing palace. They are art treasures showing the integration of Chinese and Western cultures. Lang shining represents 24 hours of the day with the twelve zodiac animals with animal heads and human bodies. Every day, the bronze statues of the twelve zodiac animals will spray water in turn, representing different times of the day. At noon, the bronze statues of the twelve zodiac animals will spray at the same time, which is a spectacular scene.

at present, five bronze animal heads of cattle, tigers, monkeys, pigs and horses have been rescued by patriots and collected in Poly Art Museum. It is now known that the rat head and rabbit head were auctioned in a French auction house in February 2009. The dragon head is now well preserved in China. The whereabouts of four heads of snake, sheep, chicken and dog are still unknown.