While many cities across China have faced serious and even deadly flooding over the past few months, there is at least one place in China where people can go to keep themselves safe and dry — the Forbidden City, which has been kept largely puddle-free thanks to its excellent 600-year-old drainage system.
Constructed all the way back in the Ming Dynasty, the Forbidden City exemplifies traditional Chinese architecture with a structure that is “high north, low south,” preventing flooding.
On the outside of each chamber, there are a number of drainage points carved to look like the head of a dragon. When a rainstorm comes, the water can flow out each off these spouts, creating a spectacular scene of “thousands of dragons spitting water.”
The palace also has a complex sewage system where the water flow is dispersed, preventing overflows.
Last week, with heavy rainstorms pounding cities across northern China, including Beijing, netizens couldn’t help but notice how dry the ancient palace looked, and made some snarky comments.
“The drainage system is indeed very good, but that’s because it was built 600 years ago,” one netizen wrote in.
“Of course the drainage system in the Forbidden City is excellent. Those who didn’t work hard to build the damn thing were beheaded as a warning to others back in those days. Now, even with awful drainage systems, we can’t even find someone to blame,” another chimed in.
“With all our technological advances, modern drainage systems can’t even beat the ancient ones that were erected six centuries ago!” one web user sighed.
On the sorta bright side, China’s poor drainage systems have created numerous opportunities for those looking to earn a quick buck:
Or trying to show off their driving ability:
As well as those looking for a spacious place to take a dip:
By Katie Ngai
[Images via Weibo / NetEase / CCTV News]