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-Marble Ramp Carved with Cloud and Dragon Design

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Marble Ramp Carved with Cloud and Dragon Design (Yunlongshidiao) is part of the marble staircase at the back of the Hall of Preserving Harmony. This was the biggest stone carving in the palace in the Ming Dynasty, and it was recarved during the reign of Qing emperor Qianlong.

The Marble Ramp Carved with Cloud and Dragon Design is 16.75 meters long, 3.07 meters wide, 1.7 meters thick and weighs about 250 tons.

Discover the story of transportation
The Marble Ramp was quarried from Fangshan District, 70 kilometers southwest of Beijing, and the transportation required twenty thousand people. Can you imagine how they managed to carry such a huge stone all the way to he palace without modern means of transport? In winter they sank wells along the way, and poured water on the ground to make a road of ice. And in summer, they used rolling logs instead. The work at that time brought tremendous hardship to the laboring people.

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