Marble Boat


Just beyond the western end of the Long Corridor, the Marble Boat has come to symbolise the extravagance and detachment of the imperial family in the closing chapter of Chinese imperial rule. First built in 1755, it was restored in 1893 on the orders of Empress Cixi, using funds intended to go towards building real ships for the Chinese navy.

Boats such as this were actually a common motif of Chinese garden design and were a place to entertain. Much of it is wood that has been painted to look like marble.