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Palace of Compassion and Tranquility (Cining gong)

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The Palace of Compassion and Tranquility (Cining gong), first built in 1536 in the west of the Forbidden City, was the palatial residence especially built for Empress Dowager Jiang at the order of the Jiajing Emperor (r. 1522-1566).  In 1769 (the thirty-fourth year of Qianlong reign, Qing dynasty), the main hall of Palace of Compassion and Tranquility was rebuilt with multiple-eaves, and the rear hall was moved further north, in a layout as seen today. The courtyard, bounded by the east and the west covered corridors, which connect the Gate of Compassion and Tranquility to the south and the wing houses of the rear hall to the north, forms an independent architectural complex. The main hall, with front and rear verandas, a gable and hip roof with double eaves and in yellow glazed tiles, is seven-bay wide and five-bay deep. In front of the main hall is a moon terrace, where the major ceremonies for the empress dowager took place. Especially on the Empress Dowager’s birthdays, it was where the emperor held celebrations. The rear hall was where the Empress Dowager worshiped the Buddha, and was furnished with all sorts of statues of Buddha and ritual instruments, thus it was also named the “great Buddha hall”. 

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