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Construction of the Palace of Longevity and Health took place from December 1735 (the thirteenth year of the Yongzheng reign) to October 1736 (the first year of the Qianlong reign). It was Qianlong Emperor who ordered this palace built for his mother, Empress Dowager Chongqing. Since then it became the palace exclusively reserved for empress dowagers. After multiple renovations during the reigns of Jiaqing (r. 1796-1820), Daoguang (r. 1821-1850), Xianfeng (r. 1851-1861) and Guangxu (r. 1875-1908), it had a layout basically unchanged. The imperial dowager consorts lived in the Western Palace of Longevity (Shou xi gong), Middle Palace of Longevity (Shou zhong gong), and the First Abode (tousuo) among other living quarters which were nearby the Palace of Longevity and Health. The East Side Hall was a throne room reserved exclusively for the Emperor when he visited the Empress Dowager’s residence.