This last hall, supported by only a few columns, is where the highest level of imperial examinations was held until the exams were suspended in 1901 and abolished in 1905. To the southwest, you can spy Wenyuan Ge (the former Imperial Archive), easily recognized by its black-tiled roof with green trim. (Black is associated with water, which, it was hoped, would protect the building from fire.) At the rear is an impressive carved marble slab weighing about 180 tons; during the reign of the Wanli emperor (1573-1620) 20,000 men spent 28 days dragging it to this position from Fangshan, roughly 50km (31 miles) to the southwest.
- © Frommer's 2013
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