Marble Boat Lake

Marble Boat Lake

Marble boat and Fei Xia Hall in HuaQingChi Park, Xian. Famous as a palace with hot spring bathing place built by emperor Xuanzong of Tang times for his concubine, Yangguifei.

This Chinese fun palace is a collection of halls, pavilions and walkways arranged around a number of pools and thermal springs. Its history is more interesting than the place itself. There were buildings here possibly as early as the Western Zhou (1050-771 BC), and a traditional story has Qin Shi Huangdi (reigned 221-210 BC) encountering a fairy, who in response to his approaches gave him a plague of boils, subsequently curing him with water from the spring.

The Tang Emperor Xuanzong (reigned AD 712-56) expanded the facilities considerably.

His reign marked the high point of Tang culture and political power until, in the mid-740s; he became infatuated with a minor concubine, Yang Guifei. The Jiulong Tang (Nine Dragon Pool) and the Guifei Chi were supposedly the sites at which they respectively bathed. Xuanzong's dalliance and his appointment of Yang family members to important posts led to factional fighting and a rebellion in which Chang'an was taken, forcing Xuanzdong to flee to Sichuan. En route his soldiers mutinied and forced him to have both Yang Guifei and her cousin, now chief minister, executed. The civil war raged on until 763 at the cost of millions of lives, to which the springs, despite elaborate claims of their health-giving properties, might be said to have contributed.

Province: Shaanxi Copyright: © SACU