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Front of Longevity Hill
Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake Monument

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Erected in the 16th year of Emperor Qianlong’s reign (1751), this grand and well-proportioned 9.8 meter-high stele was meticulously carved out of a single piece of rock. The six Chinese characters inscribed on its front were Emperor Qianlong’s calligraphy meaning Longevity Hill, Kunming Lake. Inscribed on its reverse is the complete text of the essay, A Note on Kunming Lake at the Longevity Hill, written by Emperor Qianlong to describe why and how the lake was expanded.