Central Hall of Mental Cultivation

Central Hall of Mental Cultivation
Central Hall of Mental Cultivation was the audience chamber where the Emperor read memorials, granted audience to officials and summoned his ministers for consultation. Behind the imperial throne (furnished with yellow satin) is a rosewood tablet en-graved with a motto written by the Qing Emperor Qianlong. Over it hangs horizontal tablet bearing the Chinese characters for “just and benevolent” in Emperor Yongzheng’s handwriting.

The hall has a magnificent ceiling sculpture of a dragon playing with a huge pearl.

The western chamber of the Hall of Mental Cultivation, formerly called Sanxitang (Room of Three Rare Treasures), provides glimpses of the private life of Emperor Qianlong, who was in power from 1736to 1795. The room bears testimony to his patronage of the classics, calligraphy and painting, and impresses the tourist with an air of elegance without being ostentatious. The royal seat is placed behind as mall desk for reading and writing, with writing brushes and ink stones arranged along the windowsill to the left. In this room the Emperor read reports and discussed military and political affairs with his officials.

The partition in front of the western chamber was to prevent the secret talks between the Emperor and ministers from leaking out.

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