On 18th April 2022 it was International Day for Monuments and Sites | In the thousands of weather, the Forbidden City – Beijing – China – People’s Republic of China is guarded by them and this year’s theme is “Heritage and Climate”. Wind, frost, rain and snow, the four seasons rotate, and the lights and shadows belonging to the Forbidden City are constantly changing. Share with you the headline article “In the thousands of weather, the Forbidden City is guarded by them” (including many high-definition pictures of the Forbidden City

The theme of this year’s International Day of Monuments and Sites is “Heritage and Climate”, and we will share with you the stories of the protection of the Forbidden City under different “climates”.

​​In mid-March this year, the constantly loaded spring in Beijing was suddenly interrupted by a heavy snow. Changes in weather have brought a landscape of “snow” and “flowers” in the same frame to the Forbidden City.

Whether it is sunny or raining, frost or snow, the Forbidden City under thousands of weather attracts the attention of the world with its unique momentum as a world cultural heritage site.

Since ancient times, the ever-changing weather has always affected people’s lives. From farming, to dressing and commuting, many of our actions depend on observing and responding to the weather.

For the Forbidden City, the weather is not only its changing and “atmospheric” dress, but also determines its state of breathing and breathing, as well as the actions of a group of guardians.

Every crystal snow, every roar of thunder and lightning, every rain, what kind of weather-related stories are happening here?

Snow

The most eye-catching Forbidden weather is snow. It brings a “winter limited” plain silver outfit to the Forbidden City. In the winter wind hunting, jade butterflies dance in the air, and the melting snow turns into ice under the eaves.

In the winter when the Beijing Winter Olympics were successfully held, the capital was snowy. The snowflakes falling one after another fell on the city, which matched the unique surprise of “red wall and white snow”.

In addition to the picture of “Smashed and Falling Qiongfang”, a group of hurrying figures are fighting in every corner of the Forbidden City.

In order to ensure a safe and comfortable visiting experience for tourists, the Palace Museum has launched an emergency plan for opening up in snow in a timely manner according to the weather forecast.

 In three days, the Forbidden City has accumulated a snow-cleared area of ​​900,000 square meters and transported more than 500 vehicles.

In the silver-white world, the palace walls and palaces stand majestically, and the people who are busy in it become a different embellishment.

Perseverance in the cold wind has never changed. This warmth has always been stationed in this city, accompanying everyone who comes.

Thunder

When winter comes to spring, the breeze blows away the cold air and greens the willow branches along the river bank. The flow of air brings vitality to the city and promotes the renewal of everything.

“In the second month of the month, all things are out of shock, and the shock is thunder, so it is called Jingzhe.”

Spring thunder sprouting, all things grow, but where there is thunder, it is easy to make fire. This is undoubtedly a major safety risk for wood-structured buildings.

Looking inside the palace walls, the towering three halls, turrets and other buildings were struck by lightning several times and caught fire during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, resulting in heavy losses.

In order to pray to avoid lightning, the tenth ridge beast “Xingshi” was added to the roof of the Hall of Supreme Harmony during the Kangxi period. Its shape is similar to the image of Lei Gong in myths and legends, which means controlling thunder, suppressing thunder and eliminating disasters.

In addition to the careful thought of praying for blessings, the design of the metal top connected to the down-conduct under the glazed tile also realizes a simple “lightning avoidance” function that is quite labor-intensive.

The picture shows the lightning protection roof of Zhonghe Hall

In the 1980s, with the promulgation of the National Code for Design of Lightning Protection for Buildings, the renovation of lightning protection facilities in the Forbidden City was officially put on the agenda.

The Palace Museum and the Institute of Electrical Engineering of the Chinese Academy of Sciences jointly conducted a survey to improve the lightning protection design of the Palace Museum and carry out a large number of facilities repair work according to factors such as the law of lightning strikes in the Palace Museum and the material of the building roof.

Today, the modern lightning protection system has accompanied the Forbidden City to survive many lightning strikes. The single lightning rod on the kiss, the lightning protection belt on the roof… are the “lifelines” for the city’s lightning protection and disaster prevention.

The thunder sounded, and the rain came in time. Rolling spring thunder and falling rain are another feature of the Forbidden weather.

RAIN

When it comes to the rain in the Forbidden City, people often have many associations. The little ripples of the Jinshui River and the pavilions in the mirror like the fairy palace form the beautiful picture of the Forbidden City in the rain and after the rain.

The magnificent Forbidden City complex has survived countless showers, thanks to its exquisite drainage system.

In the large and small halls, whether it is a Xieshan top, a hard top, or a pointed or helmet top, the design of various roofs follows the characteristics of high ridge and steep slope, and the purpose is to drain rainwater quickly.

On the roof, raised tube tiles and sunken slabs form “drainage channels” – tile ridges. The rainwater that falls from the sky flows down in an orderly manner along the tile ridges, collects at the dripping places of the eaves, and flows to the ground.

The water accumulated on the eaves inside the palace wall is drained out of the wall along the drain.

Thousands of chi heads on the base of the hall also dutifully “spit” the accumulated water to the ground.

Countless streams of water leaked into the sewer channel along the money eye and groove on the ground, and finally all drained into the Inner Jinshui River, completing another flow cycle.

The rainy day story of the Forbidden City is not limited to the long and complete outdoor drainage system.

The temperature and humidity of the indoor environment have a direct impact on the health and longevity of buildings and cultural relics. In 2005, the Palace Museum began to monitor the temperature and humidity of the exhibition halls, and gradually selected pilots and established a data platform. Today, the Forbidden City has already achieved comprehensive monitoring of the temperature and humidity of the exhibition halls.

At present, the Palace Museum has installed 207 monitoring equipment in 63 cultural relics buildings and warehouses, focusing on data collection of the preservation environment of indoor color paintings, decoration and ceiling decoration.

In addition to the regular temperature and humidity monitoring, there are also monitoring of carbon dioxide concentration in the exhibition halls such as Wuying Hall. In some original exhibition halls such as Kunning Palace and Chuxiu Palace, the monitoring of light is also added to prevent visible light and ultraviolet rays from affecting cultural relics. The damage caused is supported by data.

The figurative monitoring data provides accurate and powerful reference for the repair of many ancient buildings in the Forbidden City and the protection of cultural relics.

Wind, frost, rain and snow, the four seasons rotate. The thousands of lights and shadows belonging to the Forbidden City are constantly changing, but what remains unchanged is the diligent pursuit of generations of guardians for the continuation of civilization.

The humidity of the exhibition hall can be monitored in real time through the background of the monitoring system

Bathed in thousands of years of wind and rain, the ancestors formed a unique building construction wisdom in the long years ; today, modern scientific and technological means are escorting the Forbidden City .

In 2011, the Palace Museum built an automatic meteorological monitoring station. Since then, the meteorological “codes” such as precipitation, snow depth, and illumination of this ancient building complex can be measured, providing accurate data for the formulation of plans to prevent unexpected meteorological events.

When the rain ends and the sky clears, I hope that the majestic Forbidden City, which has experienced thousands of weather, will continue to write more exciting weather stories under the joint protection of you and me, and walk through the next 600 years safely!

参考资料

​1. 桑颖新,紫禁城内的排水,《紫禁城》2003年3期。

​2. 李全庆,古建筑屋顶奇妙的排水方法,《紫禁城》1987年4期。

​3. 白丽娟,故宫博物院古建筑防雷保护工作的回顾,《故宫博物院院刊》2005年第5期。

摄影/ 柳叶氘 朱楷 余宁川 孙志远 高欣 金悦平 孙文静 郑文玥

​ 制图/ 韩雪辉 责任编辑/ 刘丹阳 盛馨艺

Imagines credits are of the Forbidden City –Imperial Palace –Beijing – China- People’s Republic of China also from the Series Weibo北京卫视上新了故宫 Treasures in the Forbidden City…

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