The Nine Dragon Wall (Jiǔ Lóng Bì) was built in 1773 in the east of the Outer Court and the Hall of Preserving Harmony (Bǎo Hé Diàn)at the northeastern section of the palace of the Forbidden City as a retirement villa for Emperor Qianlong (1735-1796). It was built to provide privacy by blocking the view through the Gate of Imperial Supremacy (Huangji men) into the Palace of Tranquil Longevity (Ningshou gong).
The nine dragons play with a pearl. Made of glaze bricks colored yellow, blue, purple and white , it stands 96.5 feet long and 11.5 feet tall and stands to deny access to evil spirits, which must travel in straight lines. In traditional homes, the entrance is often through a short alley ending in a wall faced with a decorative design. The actual entry is in the side wall, usually the left wall, at the end of the dead-end alley. The angled entry serves the same functions.
On close inspection a flaw can be found in the third white dragon. A piece of wood patches a broken piece of glazed tile on its belly. The story is that a carpenter carved the wood as a replacement for fear of punishment if the wall was not completed on time.
The dragons on the wall swim in the ocean waves because Chinese dragon do not breathe fire. They are instead benevolent creature that, since ancient times, have saved mankind from drought by making it rain. They also has the power to calm waters, stop river floods, and when called upon, can dispel the waters. They are also the symbol of power, luck, prayers for rain, controlling floods, and longevity.
The sons of the Dragon King are:
Haoxian, who is a reckless and adventurous dragon whose image can be found decorating the eaves of palaces.
Yazi can be found engraved on the handles of knives and the hilts of swords. Yazi is brave and belligerent.
Chiwen is seen on top of things. If you look at the roof-ridge of a building, his image is often carved there so he can gaze into the distance and provide early warning.
Baxia is found near water. His image will be carved on bridges and arches leading to piers so that he can take a swim when he likes and protect the traveler from the water.
Pulao is fond of his own voice and likes to roar, so his image is carved on bells.
Bixi is actually has a tortoise shape, but is considered to be one of the dragon legends. The Bixi is an excellent pack-animal whose image appears on panniers. Bixi are represented on the sides of grave-monuments and are frequently carved as the base for important memorials.
Qiuniu loves music and he likes to hang around the bridge of stringed musical instruments.
Suanmi is fond of smoke and fire, so he twines up the legs of incense-burners. Suanni, which like to sit down, are represented upon the bases of Buddhist idols (under the Buddhas‘ or Bodhisattvas‘ feet).
Jiaotu can keep his mouth shut like a clam. He appears as either a conch spiral shape or a clamshell shape. He is found on door lintels, front doors, and major entryways. He guards your peace and privacy.
Bi’an guards the gates of prisons. Bi’an is the law and order type so are the symbol of litigation.
Nine Dragon Wall http://www.beijingtrip.com/attractions/forbidden/screen.htm
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