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Nine-dragon Screen - Jiulongbi

Brief Introduction of Nine-dragon Screen

At the entrance to the outer Eastern palaces, there is a Nine-dragon Screen, erected in 1773 during the reign of Emperor Qianlong as a decoration. In china, there are altogether three Nine-dragon Screens. The biggest one is in Beihai Park, and a third one is in Datong, shanxi province.

Nine Dragon Screen is one of the three famous Nine Dragons Screens in China, the best in China. The glazed tile screen is 3.5 meters high and about 30 meters long. It composed of 270 pieces glazed tiles, depicting 9 surging dragons playing with pearls with a background of clouds and seawater. The relief screen applies yellow, blue, white and purple and looks gorgeous.

Legends of Nine-dragon Screen

If one watches carefully, a piece of wood will be found at the bottom of the third dragon from the left. The legend goes like this: after the Nine-dragon screen was completed a workman carelessly broke a tile just before the inspection by Emperor Qianlong. He was so frightened, because, if found by the emperor, he was bound to be executed. The carpenter had to make a wooden part to replace it so that nobody could see the flaw. That is why this piece of the Nine-dragon Screen is made of wood.

The screen indicates emperors' supremacy by arranging nine dragons in the front and 5 on the edge, since they did believe nine is the largest single number and 5 the middle, representing Heavenly Son in combination. 

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