Nine Dragon Wall of the King’s House [Datong, Shanxi]

The famous Datong Kowloon Wall at home and abroad, among the three most famous Kowloon Walls in existence in China, is the earliest, the largest, and the most artistically charming. (The other two are in Beijing, one in Beijing s Beihai Park , and one in front of the Huangji Gate of the Forbidden City in Beijing. They were both built during the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty. They are about 350 to 400 years later than the Kowloon Wall.

Zhu Gui is the thirteenth son of Zhu Yuanzhang. He was born in the seventh year of Hongwu (AD 1374) on July 18th of the lunar calendar (Datong County Chronicle). He and Shu King Zhu Chun were born to Guo Huifei. The acting princess is the daughter of Sun Yat-sen Xu Da, the sister of Empress Ren Xiaowen (Queen Zhu Xi). Although the Ming Dynasty stipulated that the princes should not interfere in local politics, but due to the above-mentioned special relationship and holding power at the same time, he was actually a small emperor in Datong area. The Zhu Gui family finally became famous. Although it has experienced several waves, it has always been prominent and enduring. According to Zhuan Zhuan of the Ming Dynasty, from the beginning of the generation of King Zhu Gui to the fifth and fourth kings, there are twenty and three kings in the county.

At the beginning of the Ming Dynasty, in order to strengthen the centralized power and defend against the harassment of Mongolia in the North Yuan Dynasty, as of Hongwu s twenty-four years (1391 AD), he had divided 25 princes across the country in order to supervise the army of local officials, Government, finance, and literature. In the eleventh year of Hongwu (AD 1379), Zhu Gui was named the king of Yu, and in the twenty-fourth year of Hongwu (1391 AD) , he changed his name to the king of the throne on April 13th, becoming one of the nine kings; the following year In October, he was in Datong. The Dai Wangfu was built by Zhu Gui. According to the Record of Datong Prefecture: The old school was in the east of the prefecture, … in the eighth year of Ming Hongwu (AD 1376), it was established as a prefecture, and in the twenty-ninth year (AD 1396), the prefecture was used as the representative government. First, the Yunzhong Post was changed to Fuxue, which is now learned. In this cas e, the Dai Wangfu was reconstructed and expanded on the basis of the original Fuxue. As the photo wall in front of the palace, Jiulong Wall was also built at this time.

In 1649, after Datong Chief Jiang (Wang Xiang) defeated the Qing army, the Qing Dynasty s mad “Slaying City” and “Beheading City” were once torched and turned into a rubble. Place, and the wall in front of the palace , the Jiulong wall, was saved from calamity and was fortunately preserved as a precious historical relic today.

The Datong Nine Dragon Wall is a single-sided multi-colored glazed wall facing south and north. It is 45.50 meters long, 8 meters high, and 2.09 meters thick. Above ordinary houses, it looks very magnificent. Compared to Beijing Beihai Jiulong Wall (25.5 meters long, 4.9 meters high, 1.42 meters thick), it is almost three times taller.

The building structure of this wall is made of yellow, green, blue, purple, black, white and other colored glass components. The wall body is composed of three parts: the base is the Xumi seat, the middle part is the wall body , and the upper part is the top of the wall. The east and west ends are respectively the patterns of rising sun and rising moon, and they are lined with river cliffs and sea water and flowing clouds. Xumi s girdle is inlaid with two layers of glazed beasts: the first layer is unicorn, lion, tiger, deer, pegasus, etc., and the second layer is a small line of dragons. These glazed beasts come in different poses and come to life. The Xumi seat supports the glazed wall of Kowloon. Due to the right proportion, it gives a sense of stability and vigor. There are sixty-two groups of glazed bucket arches with imitation wood structure on the wall, supporting the glazed tile wall top. The top of the wall is a single eaves with five ridges. On both sides of the positive r idge are high-relief multi-layered petals of flowers and dragons.

The whole wall body, with turquoise waves in the lower part, blue clouds and yellow flowing clouds in the upper part. The nine dragons are separated and connected by clouds, flowing clouds, waves and cliffs. The walls, especially the nine dragons, are all made of high relief, which makes each dragon stand out on the wall one by one, which greatly enhances the three-dimensional feeling.

From the layout and shape of the nine dragons, the center one is a sitting dragon, which is a yellow color. In the Ming Dynasty, the main color was yellow, which symbolized nobility and was used exclusively by the emperors. The dragon was facing the central axis of the palace, heading forward, his eyes were bright and gazing, and he looked at the Duanli Gate on behalf of the palace. The dragon s body curled up, the dragon s tail stretched to the rear, as if sitting in silence. The first pair of dragons on both sides of the center dragon are two flying dragons, which are pale yellow, with the dragon head facing east and the dragon tail extending toward the center dragon. This group of dragons are chic and very contented. The second pair of dragons is medium yellow, with heads and tails facing west. The shape is roughly the same as that of the first pair of dragons, forming a basically symmetrical pattern. The third dragon pair is purple. These are two flying dragons, whose form is very different from the former, and their expressions are fierce and angry, and they are likely to fall over the river. The fourth pair of dragons (the dragons at both ends) is yellow-green, flying in a state of agitation, and full of vitality.

In front of Jianbi, there is a reflection pond with a length of 34.9 meters, a width of 4.38 meters, and a depth of about 0.8 meters. It is surrounded by stone pillars and a bridge intersects it, which is rare in China. Every time a breeze blows, the full pool of clear water is rippling with layers of ripples. At this moment, looking at the nine dragons reflected in the water, it really seems to be writhing between the sea and the blue sky.

Regarding the construction of this reflection pool, there is still a legend in Datong to this day: One day after the completion of the Kowloon Wall, Dai Wang stood on the gate of Duanli Gate and was on the railing. Suddenly there was a thunderstorm, and two thunderbolts flew towards the Jiulongbi. A large pit appeared in front of the Longbi, and two deep springs were exposed in Jinbocang Lane, not far behind the Longbi. Two yellow dragons and one black dragon soared in the clear spring water, and shot their heads into the large pit in front of the dragon wall to inject the clear spring. Looking at the pit from afar, it seems that there are dancing and dancing in Kowloon. The King of Sui ordered the puddle to be a reflection pond and the second spring to be a second well, and its water was sweet and bitter. Since then, the reflection pond has become an integral part of the Kowloon Wall.

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