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Photographer's Note

This picture was taken in Chengde in Hebei province, northeast of Beijing. This is the Red Palace of the Putuozongcheng Temple.

In 1703, Chengde (Chinese: 承德) was chosen by Emperor Kangxi as the location for his summer residence. Constructed throughout the eighteenth century, the Mountain Resort (避暑山庄; literally 'avoiding the heat mountain villa') was an important political center of the Chinese empire.

The Putuozongcheng Temple (Chinese: 普陀宗乘之庙) is part of the 'Eight Outer Temples', which skirt the northern and eastern walls of the imperial summer resort.

The temples were administered by the 'Lifan Yuan', the administrative department for the affairs of ethnic minorities such as the Mongolians and Tibetans. As such these temples served diplomatic and political goals rather than spiritual ones.

This particular temple is a minifacsimile of the Potala Palace in Lhasa. It was built built during the reign of Emperor Qianlong and represents a fusion of Chinese and Tibetan architectural styles. The temple was the residence of the Panchen Lama who stayed here for the emperor's birthday in 1786.

The attentive viewer will undoubtedly notice the fake Tibetan windows in the facade.

This one is for peace and understanding...

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Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1541 W: 34 N: 2212] (13546)
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