Welcome, guest. You are not logged in.
Log in or join for free!
Stay logged in
Forgot login details?

Stay logged in

For free!
Get started!

Text page


'*The Legend of the watch towers*'

The Legend of the watch towers
(Forbidden city, Beijing, China)

Legend has it that when the forbidden city was first build, there were no watch towers, only the high, thick red wall.

One night, emperfr Qian Long dreamed of four watch towers standing at each corner. When he woke up, he ordered that the four watch towers be constructed just like the ones in his dream.

The Minister of work received the imperial edict and summoned the best craftsmen in the country to build the watch towers in only three months. Two shifts of top craftsmen built very impressive watch towers, but becouse they weren't quite like that the emperor had dreamed of, they were all destroyed and the craftsmen were all beheaded.

A third group of craftsmen was summoned. Understandably, they were so worried that could hardly eat or sleep.

One evening, after long day work, while they were lying down resting, they heard singing of grasshoppers. It was so noisy that one craftsman decided to investigate. He went out and saw an old man selling those grasshoppers for a very high price. The craftsman explained that he hoped to get some quiet, but the old man said "How can a grasshoppers keept silent?"

Hearing the craftsman continue to argue with the old man, all the othe craftsmen went out to see what was happening. On seeing the others, the old man lifted the cover and held high and said proudly, "Sirs, won't you buy my fine grasshoppers in this fine cage?" Immediately, all eyes focused on the cage - it was exactly what they wanted.

The cage was made of thin sorghum stalks with eight sides and eight more at every corner. The roof was divided into three storeys. The first storey had upturned eaves on its four sides, and each of the four small upturned eaves. The secont storey was similiar to the first, except that on its four upturned eaves were four triangular ridgepoles. Like the second, the third had four triangular ridgepoles, but on the ridgepoles were four more triangular ridgepoles, and on each of them stood four level ridgepoles.

The craftsmen build the four watch towers according to the design of the cage and the emperor was finally satisfied. The old man was believed to have been Lu Ban, the 'grandfather of all chinese carpenters.

This page:

Help/FAQ | Terms | Imprint
Home People Pictures Videos Sites Blogs Chat