National Geographic : 1949 Sep
The National Geographic Magazine © National Geographic Society Ansco Color U. S. Marine Corps, Official, by Lt. David D. Duncan Through an Imperial Archway, the Bottle-shaped White Dagoba Pierces the Skyline When the Dalai Lama of Tibet visited Peking in 1652, the White Dagoba was built as a shrine in his honor. Made of brick and rubble surfaced with plaster, the chorten is divided into base, body, spire, ornament, and gilded ball to represent earth, water, fire, air, and ether. Its shape has given it the nickname "peppermint bottle." The White Dagoba stands beside Pei Hai (North Sea) on grounds which the stone lion (right fore ground) designates as having been imperial. Now the region is a park for Peiping residents. A Chinese superstition says the White Dagoba always is reflected in the lake, yet it never casts a shadow to the west. The emperor and his family lived in the innermost of four "cities"-the Forbidden City, brilliant with yellow roofs. Outside massive pink walls is the Imperial City, formerly the residence of court officials and princes. Around the Imperial City lies the Tatar City, whose walls were outlined by Yung Lo, third emperor of the Ming dynasty. To the south, the Chinese City combines business areas with suburbs and gardens. Together, these cities form a community which long was the intellectual as well as the governmental center of China. Finally, the capital was moved to Nanking, and Peking was renamed Peiping. Com munist conquest may again make it the seat of power.