Beijing 2014 - through-my-eyes
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Marble Boat on Kunming Lake, Summer Palace. In 1860, the wooden pavilion was burned leaving only the hull of the boat remaining. Empress Dowager Cixi had the boat rebuilt in 1893 using a Western design. She financed the rebuilding using funds embezzled from the navy. The boat's name was changed to Qingyan Fang and provided a venue for Cixi to view the scenery and be entertained. When the empire was facing a military and political crisis, Cixi embezzled more funds to rebuild the Summer Palace under the guise of naval development. The only concession actually made to the navy was that they took possession of the marble boat. It was, of course, no use to the navy.