This you may depend on; it is also very thick, and a good ten paces in height, whitewashed and loop-holed all round. At each angle of the wall there is a very fine and rich palace in which the war-harness of the Emperor is kept, such as bows and quivers, two saddles and bridles, and bowstrings, and everything needful for an army.
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And you must understand that each Palace is assigned to only one kind of article; thus one is stored with bows, a second with saddles, a third with bridles, and so on in succession right round. Close on either side of this great gate is a smaller one by which all other people pass; and then towards each angle is another great gate, also open to people in general; so that on that side there are five gates in all.
This wall also hath five gates on the southern face, corresponding to those in the outer wall, and hath one gate on each of the other faces, as the outer wall hath also. The Palace itself] hath no upper story, but is all on the ground floor, only the basement is raised some ten palms above the surrounding soil [and this elevation is retained by a wall of marble raised to the level of the pavement, two paces in width and projecting beyond the base of the Palace so as to form a kind of terrace-walk, by which people can pass round the building, and which is exposed to view, whilst on the outer edge of the wall there is a very fine pillared balustrade; and up to this the people are allowed to come].
The roof is very lofty, and the walls of the Palace are all covered with gold and silver. And on the ceiling too you see nothing but gold and silver and painting. The building is altogether so vast, so rich, and so beautiful, that no man on earth could design anything superior to it. The outside of the roof also is all coloured with vermilion and yellow and green and blue and other hues, which are fixed with a varnish so fine and exquisite that they shine like crystal, and lend a resplendent lustre to the Palace as seen for a great way round.
This roof is made too with such strength and solidity that it is fit to last forever. There he occupies himself at his own convenience, and no one else has access. There are beasts also of sundry kinds, such as white stags and fallow deer, gazelles and roebucks, and fine squirrels of various sorts, with numbers also of the animal that gives the musk, and all manner of other beautiful creatures, insomuch that the whole place is full of them, and no spot remains void except where there is traffic of people going and coming. A river enters this lake and issues from it, but there is a grating of iron or brass put up so that the fish cannot escape in that way.
This hill is entirely covered with trees that never lose their leaves, but remain ever green.
Marco Polo and His Travels
And I assure you that wherever a beautiful tree may exist, and the Emperor gets news of it, he sends for it and has it transported bodily with all its roots and the earth attached to them, and planted on that hill of his. No matter how big the tree may be, he gets it carried by his elephants; and in this way he has got together the most beautiful collection of trees in all the world. And he has also caused the whole hill to be covered with the ore of azure, which is very green. Everybody who sees them is delighted. And the Great Kaan had caused this beautiful prospect to be formed for the comfort and solace and delectation of his heart.
Hence it is made just in the same fashion and of the same size, so that everything can be carried on in the same manner after his own death.
Marco Polo - Great Silk Road
Now I am going to tell you of the chief city of Cathay, in which these Palaces stand; and why it was built, and how. Xanadu Shangdu was established in present-day Inner Mongolia about miles northeast of Beijing. Kublai Khan set up a capital with a pleasure palace there before he established Daidu.
Xanadu was destroyed in and would likely have been forgotten were in not for Marco Polo's accounts of the palace and Samuel Tayler Coleridge's poem Kublai Khan. Marco Polo estimated the length of Shangdu's pleasure palace walls to be 16 miles around Chinese archaeologists have estimated that the true figure is 5. On Kublai Khan's pleasure palace at Xanadu, Marco Polo wrote: "There is at this place a very fine marble palace, the rooms of which are all gilt and painted with figures of men and beasts and birds, and with a variety of trees and flowers, all executed with such exquisite art that you regard them with delight and astonishment Round this palace is a wall The gyrfalcons alone amount to more than It is gilt all over, most elaborately finished inside and decorated with beasts and birds of very skillful workmanship.
It is reared on gilt and varnished pillars, on each of which stands a dragon entwining the pillar with tail and supporting the roof on outstretched limbs. The roof is also made of canes, so varnished that it is quite waterproof. On Kublai Khan's pleasure palace at Xanadu, Marco Polo wrote: "It is enclosed all round by a great wall with five gates on its southern face, the middle one never opened on any occasion except when the Khan himself goes forth or enters.
This is the greatest palace that ever was. The roof is very lofty, and the walls of the palace are all covered with gold and silver. The hall is so large that it could easily dine 6, people.
The roof is vermilion, yellow, green and blue, the tiles fixed with a varnish so fine that they shine like crystal and can be seen from a great distance. Often, too, he enters the park with a leopard on the crupper of his horse; when he feels inclined, he lets it go and thus catches a hare or stag or roebuck to give to the gyrfalcons that he keeps in the mew.
And this he does for recreation and sport. When the 28th day of August arrives, he takes his departure, and the Cane Palace is taken to pieces It is held in place by more than chains of silk. The British poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote a weird, largely nonsensical poem about Kublai Khan and Xanadu called is Kubla Khan; or a Vision in a Dream, which he conceived after falling asleep while reading and taking opium. Coleridge later wrote, "During three hours of profound sleep, he composes lines of poetry.
After he woke up he wrote down the 54 lines of Kubla Khan when he was interrupted by a visitor. When he returned to his desk he could no longer remember his dream poem.
MARCO POLO AND KUBLAI KHAN
And all should cry Beware! His flashing eyes, his floating hair! Weave a circle round him thrice, And close your eyes with holy dread, For he on honey-dew hath fed, And drunk the milk of Paradise. Kublai Khan welcomed the Polos like long lost friends. He used Marco Polo as an emissary and ambassador in China and in other Asian kingdoms.
This was not that unusual. Kublai Khan employed thousands of foreigners, mostly Persians and Arabs. Scholars deduce that Marco Polo could speak Persian and Mongol but not much Chinese he often used Persian names rather than Chinese ones for the places he described and spent much of his time with foreigners. These markets attracted, firstly, Asian tradesmen, and later merchants from Western Europe.
This caravan journey lasted for a whole year, and finished in the residence of great Kublai Khan. They had no idea that this decision would be such a historically significant decision.
The Venetians were greeted with great honor and soon appeared in the presence of the great Khan. Young Marco was especially liked by Kublai Khan who gave him authority as his personal envoy. Using this authority Marco Polo traveled to the provinces of China, carrying out numerous, mainly diplomatic assignments.
These trips, coupled with his natural curiosity and extraordinary memory, allowed Marco to get acquainted with the lifestyles of the people of this mysterious country, and subsequently, to document a unique and descriptive story about his findings and impressions.
It is known that he went overland from Bukhara to China. The Venetians stayed for 17 years in the service of Kublai Khan. Most of their return journey was done by sea around the coast of South-East Asia, Hindustan, visiting many seaports on the way.
marco polo Essay
They arrived in Venice in , completing the greatest journey of that time both distance wise and time wise. This book is especially valuable not only as a great reference work, but also because of the personal input of the author — the first European to have crossed all of Central Asia.
It contains interesting personal accounts of his travels as well as information about his father and uncle. It has become one of the most famous literary compositions of the 13th century, and has influenced the development of culture in Western Europe — the only piece of writing of its kind.
The famous traveler, Vambery 19th century also refers to this book in terms of Iran, Afghanistan, and India. The origin of this name is such: when he returned from his travels and spole of the luxury of the court of the great Khan, Marco Polo frequently mentioned that the daily income of the Khan was estimated between ten and fifteen million in by gold.
Or perhaps he got this nickname because of the considerable riches he returned home with. The diversity of the interests of Marco Polo is amazing. The nature, climate, state protocol, trade, architecture, religions, traditions and customs, magnificent palaces of the rulers, the disposition of the courtiers, the eastern bazaars, national cuisine, legends and stories is all addressed and explained in his book.
Marco Polo begins his description of Asia from Armenia, writing about areas of present Persia and part of Turkey, and on to the Central Asia. He includes interesting information about Mongolia, China, Japan and India. In his description of the northern areas of Persia Khorasan , verging now on the borders of the Caspian, he emphasizes the difficulties, the traps the traveler experiences in the desert: lack of water, heat and vicious sand.
He remarks on excellent pastures in the valleys of the Pamir Mountains and the variety of animals. And the Great Kaan had caused this beautiful prospect to be formed for the comfort and solace and delectation of his heart. Hence it is made just in the same fashion and of the same size, so that everything can be carried on in the same manner after his own death. Now I am going to tell you of the chief city of Cathay, in which these Palaces stand; and why it was built, and how. Xanadu Shangdu was established in present-day Inner Mongolia about miles northeast of Beijing.
Kublai Khan set up a capital with a pleasure palace there before he established Daidu. Xanadu was destroyed in and would likely have been forgotten were in not for Marco Polo's accounts of the palace and Samuel Tayler Coleridge's poem Kublai Khan.