The Long Corridor 04-09-2004 16:39

One of the architectural marvels of the Summer Palace, a former imperial landscaped garden in Beijing, is the seemingly endless covered promenade. On December 2, 1998, the Summer Palace was included by UNESCO on its World Cultural Heritage List. The promenade, popularly known as the Long Corridor, has been recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest of its kind in the world.

鈥淭he Long Corridor is famous for its length not only in China but also in the world. It measures 728 meters long and is divided by crossbeams into 273 sections,鈥 said Li Wu, head of Construction Department of the Summer Palace.

Most visitors to the Summer Palace like to walk along the Long Corridor. It stars at Yaoyuemen 锛圙ate for Greeting the Moon锛 in the east and runs westward past Paiyundian 锛圕loud Dispelling Hall锛 below Foxiangge 锛圱ower of Buddhist Incense锛. Paiyundian marks the point that divides the corridor into two equal parts. To the north of the corridor is Wanshoushan 锛圚ill of Longevity锛 and to the south is the broad expanse of the Kunming Lake. Located along the corridor are four octagonal pavilions with double roofs, which symbolize spring summer, autumn, and winter respectively. Duioufang 锛團acing锛峵he锛峉eagull Boat锛 and Yuzaoxuan 锛團ish锛峚nd锛岮lgae Pavilion锛 are another two lakeside structures along the corridor. Around a bend from the west end of the Long Corridor is the famous Marble Boat.

鈥淭he corridor is long and roofed and joins many scenic spots in the Summer Palace. So it can provide an excellent route for visitors to tour the garden, rain or shine,鈥 said Li Wu, head of Construction Department of the Summer Palace.

The corridor looks like a beautiful silk belt that strings together the scenic spots lying scattered in front of Wanshoushan and is ingeniously used as a transitional zone from the hill to the Kunming Lake. When you stroll along it, you will find that the scene changes with every step and that whatever you see from it is as charming as a landscape painting by a master hand.

According to Li Wu, The corridor is virtually an exceptionally long gallery. The corridor, along with the buildings it joins, features more than 14,000 paintings.

The beams and ceiling of the corridor all have paintings of flowers, birds, fish, insects, and famous Chinese buildings and landscapes. However, the most interesting are paintings of episodes from Chinese classical literature, folk tales as well as historical and legendary figures. The corridor is in fact an open锛峚ir museum of Chinese painting, where you can not only enjoy the art of Chinese painting but also gain an insight into China's history and its ancient culture.

A fine example of Chinese architecture, the Long Corridor always leads you into a world of paintings and enables you to admire the beauty of the Summer Palace in different seasons regardless of the weather.

Editor:Wang Ping

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