As the world's largest and best-preserved ancient wooden building, the Palace Museum has attracted tens of thousands of Chinese and foreign visitors to Beijing since its opening with its rich history and cultural atmosphere.
However, many tourists who have visited the Palace Museum have reported the same incident: the Palace's internal "multi-purpose hall" Yangxin Hall, regardless of the cold and heat, inside a sense of cold and damp.
Why is the Forbidden City, which has more than 70 large and small palaces and more than 9,000 houses, the only one in such a situation is the Hall of the Core?
This confusion is not only the visiting Chinese and foreign tourists puzzled, even the staff responsible for the preservation and restoration of cultural relics inside the Forbidden City can not say the specific reason.
Until the end of 2015, the Palace ushered in the "research-based conservation project", with the depth of the repair, experts finally unraveled the mystery of the years of confusion.
The Palace of Resting Heart, which was originally a place for the emperor to relax
Located on the west side of the inner court of the Forbidden City, the interior layout of the Hall of the Cultivated Heart is refined and compact compared to the majestic Hall of Taihe.
Most of the emperors of the Qing dynasty, used the Hall of the Core as their study, office and resting bedrooms.
But what is unexpected is that the original purpose of the construction of the Hall of Health is actually for the emperor to escape from the tedium of government and lazy "refuge".
In the Ming Dynasty sixteen emperors, such as Zhu Houzhao, Zhu Yucheng and many other "strange emperors" emerged, but the end of the country Qi 276 years, the most controversial is undoubtedly Ming Shizong Jiajing Emperor.
Some people claim that his power is unparalleled and his intellect is superb, while others claim that the "downfall of the Ming Dynasty" began with Jiajing's indulgent courtiers.
At the beginning of his reign, Jiajing showed amazing political wisdom and skill, and before he reached adulthood, he succeeded in defeating Yang Tinghe, the patriarch of four dynasties, and gradually took control of the imperial power.
After more than ten years, Jiajing is even more motivated to rule, the mess left by Wu Zong organized in order.
But just when everyone thought that an even comparable to Hongzhi Zhongxing, or even comparable to Renxuan's rule of another heyday is about to come, Jiajing unexpectedly "overnight" sex change.
In the 16th year of Jiajing, Ming Emperor Zhu Houxiao ordered the western part of the inner court in the imperial city, the construction of a new hall named "Yangxin Hall".
The name of the temple is taken from the idea of Mencius "nourishing the mind, the best in the desire for less", and in fact, Jiajing built it for the very purpose of "desire for less".
When the completion of the Palace of the heart, Jiajing will begin to live in this deep and simple, until finally concentrated in this place to cultivate immortality and alchemy and ignore the affairs of the court.
If you think that because of a taste for immortality to seek the Tao and was called "Jiajing Taoist" by later generations, Zhu Houchong has been the ultimate in neglect of government, it is very wrong.
As the saying goes, "blue out of blue is better than blue", Jiajing's grandson Wanli, but the grandfather "ignore the government" this good tradition to the fullest extent.
In the 22nd year of the Wanli reign, Emperor Zhu Yijun ordered a major renovation of the Hall of the Heart, the scale is more ambitious than grandfather Jiajing.
After all, Jiajing's purpose in building the Hall of the Core is to avoid the suspicion of political affairs, but more than anything else, he wants to become immortal.
And according to the Taoist "quiet and inaction" concept, since the Hall of the heart can not be too extravagant and brilliant.
But Wan Li is different, he did not have a grandfather that obsessed with superstition, he repaired the biggest purpose of the Hall of the Heart is to hide here to enjoy the blessings.
In this inner court, Wan Li a hiding is more than 20 years, so that the dynasty above the factions, party fierce, greatly depleted the Ming dynasty capital also laid the root of the disaster for the subsequent demise.
After the Qing Dynasty entered the country, the emperors of various generations have been using Wan Li as a villainous teaching material to educate their children and grandchildren.
The most famous Kangxi emperor, but also called Wanli "geeky son of heaven", but also in the Palace of the Yangxin found Wanli private stash of "2 million gold".
I don't know if this is the truth or a story made up by Kangxi to educate his children and grandchildren, but one thing is certain: Kangxi despises Wanli and even his residence, the Hall of the Heart.
But what he did not expect was that after his death, his children and grandchildren not only did not "remember" his teachings, but also moved their residence from the Qianqing Palace to the Hall of the Nurtured Heart.
The "multifunctional office" of the Qing Emperor
Soon after Kangxi's death, Yongzheng "made a decision to go against the ancestors" - moved away from the Qianqing Palace, moved the sleeping place to the Hall of the Nurtured Heart.
Many wild histories and folk legends believe that Yongzheng did not live in the Qianqing Palace because he "was not right" and was afraid that living in the Qianqing Palace would be scolded by the "spirit" of his father, Kangxi, before he moved to the Yangxin Palace.
But in fact, throughout Yongzheng's more than ten years of ruling career, "pragmatic" and "truth-seeking" are his most distinctive features, and would not be as bad as the legendary.
The reason why Yongzheng wanted to move the bedchamber to the Palace of the Core, all for work.
It is well known that the emperors of the Qing Dynasty liked to "listen to politics" at the Qianqing Gate, and the distance from the Qianqing Palace to the Qianqing Gate is not close.
However, the Hall of the Core is different, in addition to its proximity to the Qianqing Gate, its internal structure is also valued by Yongzheng.
The plan structure of the Hall of the Heart is in the shape of "Gong", divided into two parts: the front hall and the back hall, connected only by a corridor in the middle.
As the daily work of the front hall, the main hall surface as the handling of daily business, the East Nunnery as the usual place to take a break, the West Nunnery as a summons to the Minister of Military Affairs and other important courtiers "secret conversation room".
The back hall, on the other hand, has become a resting chamber for living and living. Because Yongzheng's diligent administration is almost "fighting for life", so this from "home" to "office" but a minute distance from the Yangxin Hall is simply Yongzheng's heart The "best place to live".
After that, until the end of the feudal system, all the emperors of the Qing dynasty used the Hall of the Core as their chambers, offices and places to study. Here, it can be said to be a true witness to the rise and fall of the "Heavenly Kingdom".
The reform decrees of the true prosperity of more than half a century were established and issued to the whole country from the Palace of the Core; the many unequal treaties arbitrarily abused and forced by the Western powers were also approved by the supreme ruler from this palace of administration, living and one.
But why did the 8 emperors, for almost 200 years, did not feel different, while waiting until the opening of the Palace Museum, the people of today feel the unusual cold from inside?
Revealing the mystery of the cold in the Hall of the Cultivated Heart
Since the Hall of the Heart is open to visit, visitors always step into the red-painted doors of the hall will feel a cold chill directly into the skin.
Even in the height of summer, no matter how dry and hot outside, as long as you stay in the Palace of the heart for a long time, you will feel cold and damp, very uncomfortable.
In the face of the reaction of tourists, the staff of the Forbidden City only thought that the air conditioning is turned on too much, in order to keep the wooden buildings in the temple so dehydrated serious and take regular moisture replenishment caused.
But as time went on, the staff realized that the reason was not there.
After the news broke, some superstitious people began to think about it. Because, there were two Qing emperors who died of violent illnesses precisely in the Palace of the Core.
This statement is, of course, ridiculous, old age, sickness and death is the irreversible laws of nature, and as the emperor's bedchamber of the Palace of the Emperor, the emperor fell ill here, how would it be unusual to die.
But although the ghosts and gods of the strange power is not credible, but the perennial sense of cold and dampness in the Hall of Health is an indisputable fact.
It is worth mentioning that at the very beginning the staff would periodically replenish the humidity in order to prevent the wooden buildings in the Hall of Health from drying out and cracking from the air conditioning.
However, after it was later discovered that the wooden building inside was slightly damaged by humidity, the moisture replenishment was stopped.
But even so, the cold and damp feeling inside the Hall of the Raising Heart still hasn't disappeared. Even the experts responsible for the restoration of cultural relics in the Forbidden City, can not give a professional explanation, until the Forbidden City "hundred years of major repairs" came.
At the beginning of this century, in order to preserve the ancient architecture of the Forbidden City intact, the party and the state then developed a big project - the Forbidden City ancient buildings overall maintenance project.
Because this is since the end of the feudal era, the longest repair time, the most ambitious overall repair, so the project will also be called the Forbidden City's "hundred years of repair".
According to the overall planning outline, starting in 2003, until 2020, the Forbidden City ancient buildings repair project is divided into three phases.
And as an important part of the National Palace Museum, the Palace of the Yang Xin Hall, naturally, has become a top priority for the restoration of the Palace.
In order to be able to restore the Hall of the heart, will be open to visit the previous problems revealed one by one, in December 18, 2015 officially launched a "research-based conservation project" and do "closed".
But until the "closed" nearly 3 years later, the Palace of the heart was officially opened to repair work.
Many people do not understand the reason, and have even speculated that it is not the "something" in the Palace of the Heart is already out of control, before the "closed door processing".
In fact, in this 2 years and 8 months, the Palace to carry out repairs to the staff of the eight skills, hundreds of traditional techniques of systematic training, until September 2018 all personnel passed the assessment to open the restoration work of the Hall of the Yang Xin.
September 3, 2018, to "a magnificent Forbidden City intact to the next 600 years" as the concept, the National Palace Museum President Shan Jixiang announced the official launch of the restoration of the Yangxin Hall, and as the Palace "100 years of major repairs" of the finale.
It is also in this repair project, experts found confused for many years, "cold" mystery of the Hall of Health.
In repairing the floor of the Hall of Health, experts will carefully lift the original floor one by one to check the damage to each piece of flooring.
However, when they lifted the floor, what came into view was not the imaginary mud and sand, but a row of pipes made of brick and tile.
When they saw these pipes, the experts immediately understood why the Hall of the Cultivated Heart was cold and damp all year round, and could not help but admire the wisdom and skill of the ancients.
Originally, because Beijing is located in the north of China, the climate is dry and cold in winter, hot in summer, and in ancient times there is no such developed heating and cooling measures as modern, so the craftsmen thought of a peculiar way to solve the Emperor's heating and cooling matters.
They have laid such pipes under the whole of the Yixin Hall. After the examination and analysis of the repair experts, I think these pipes should be divided into two kinds, one is the underground water pipe, one is the pit flue pipe.
As the name implies, underground water pipes, mainly used for cooling in summer. Because the underground water is incomparably cool, through those pipes filled with the entire Palace, so that it can play the role of heat absorption and cooling.
The floor pit flue pipe, which is made by burning wood in winter time, makes the hot air flow into the pre-set pipe to provide warmth for the whole Yixin Hall, which is similar to the earth bed in the northern countryside.
This is a big project because neither the groundwater nor the hot smoke from burning wood is available for permanent energy supply.
Even the possible existence of the efficacy of very short, after all, after several times of repair and expansion, the Qing dynasty, the Hall of the Core has long been not only for the Jiajing period to build the scale of alchemy comparable.
Therefore, this work should have a special person in the palace to take charge of this matter. And with the collapse of the feudal system that stretched over 2,000 years, the once heavily guarded Forbidden City has become a cultural treasure for hundreds of millions of Chinese people.
But with the collapse of the once imperial power, the workers who once worked day and night for the emperor's enjoyment have long since gone.
But they forgot that the cooling groundwater injected into the sanctuary of the heart was still left in the pipes before they left.
It was not until a century later, after giving rise to countless speculations about the weird and bizarre, that the reason behind this was finally found by restoration experts.
The secret behind the Hall of the Cultivated Heart
This full repair of the Hall of the heart, experts are not just for the floor tiles, the Hall of the heart from inside to outside, from top to bottom have been fully repaired.
One of the most convincing is the repair of the roof. As the finale of this "100-year renovation", the first repair of the roof tiles was very time-consuming and energy-consuming.
The staff will remove the glazed roof tiles piece by piece, and give them a number one by one, so that the future repair work can be better.
According to statistics, the entire roof glazed tiles of the Yang Xin Hall, the total number of up to more than 710,000 pieces.
Among the 710,000-odd glazed tiles, there are tiles from the Yongzheng and Qianlong periods, which are hundreds of years old, as well as tiles cast by modern glazed factories in the new century, with a total of more than 110 different styles.
And become these professionals in the intensity and concentration of the restoration work after the laughing stock, than when the construction of the Hall of Health, those ancient craftsmen used the "tips".
In the restoration of the rear hall of the bedroom, the staff found that the back of the roof of the temple roll shed type hard hill roof structure, with the wooden structure used at the time is very different.
To put it bluntly, in order to save time and effort, those craftsmen will build the method greatly simplified, just make a look the same shape.
I have to say, this is not just a high art people bold, you know in ancient times this "deceive the king" practice is to be implicated in the family.
The Palace's restoration process is meticulous and professional, as well as the anecdotes encountered, are the tip of the iceberg of this century's Forbidden City "hundred years of repair".
The 600 years of vicissitudes have not allowed this magnificent building to change its appearance, and the next 600 years will do the same.
I hope that for the next 600 years and the next 600 years, the Forbidden City will still be intact, passing on the stories of generations of Chinese people.