Palace of Gathered Elegance (Chuxiu gong)

The Palace of Gathered Elegance (Chuxiu gong) is located in the northeast of the Six Western Palaces. Notable among the consorts who lived here throughout the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties was the Empress Dowager Cixi. She lived here when she was young as Consort Yi. In the rear hall, she gave birth to Zaichun, the only son of the Xianfeng Emperor (r. 1851-1861) and became the Tongzhi Emperor (r. 1862-1874). Walls of the roofed corridors in the courtyard are inscribed with a Long Life Odes by the courtiers for her fiftieth birthday.
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