Huaqing Pool is situated about 35 kilometres east of the city of Xi’an. Historically, the Western Zhou dynasty saw the construction of the Li Palace on the spot. In the Qin dynasty a pool was built with stones, and was given the name Lishan Tang (the Lishan Hot Spring). The site was extended into a palace in the Han dynasty, and renamed the Li Palace (the Resort Palace). In the Tang dynasty, Li Shimin (Emperor Tai Zong) ordered to construct the Hot Spring Palace, and Emperor Xuan Zong had a walled palace built around Lishan Mountain in the year of 747. It was known as the Huaqing Palace. It also had the name Huaqing Pool on account of its location on the hot springs.
Huaqing Pool is located at the foot of the Lishan Mountain, a branch range of the Qinling Ranges, and stands 1,256 metres high. It is covered with pines and cypresses, looking very much like a like a dark green galloping horse from a long distance. So it has the name of the Lishan Mountain (Li means a black horse).
The Tang dynasty Emperor Xuan Zong and his favourite lady, Yang Gui Fei used to make their home at Frost Drifting Hall in winter days. When winter came, snowflakes were floating in the air, and everything in sight was white. However, they came into thaw immediately in front of the hall. It owed a great deal to the luke warm vapour rising out of the hot spring. This is the Frost Drifting Hall that greets us today.
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Close by the Frost Drifting Hall lies the Nine Dragon Pool. According to legend, the Central Shaanxi Plain was once stricken by a severe drought in the very remote past. Thus, by the order of the Jade Emperor (the Supreme Deity of Heaven), an old dragon came at the head of eight young ones, and made rain here. Yet when the disaster was just abating, they lowered their guard so much that it became serious again. In a fit of anger, the Jade Emperor kept the young dragons under the Jade Cause Way (玉堤), with the Morning Glow Pavilion and the Sunset Pavilion built at both ends of it respectively, to make the young dragons spout cleat water all day long to meet the needs of local irrigation. Besides, he had the old dragon confined to the bottom of the Roaring Dragon Waterside Pavilion situated at the upper end of the Jade Causeway, and obliged him to exercise control over the young.
The Nine-Bend Corridor west of the Nine Dragon Pool leads directly to the Marble Boat, which resembles a dragon boat on the water surface. In the Marble Boat lies the Nine Dragon Tang (the Nine Dragon Hot Spring where Emperor Xuan Zong used to take baths). At the head of his court ladies and hundreds of his officials, he would come to the Huanqing Palace to spend his winter days in October of the Lunar calendar and return to Chang’an City as the year drew to its close. The Nine Dragon Hot Spring was originally built with crystal jade, whose surface was decorated with the carvings of fish, dragons, birds and flowers. In it twin lotus flowers also carved with white jade could be seen as well. The spring water welled from the break of an earthen jar, and spouted up to the lotus flowers. Hence the name Lotus Flower Tang (the Lotus Flower Hot Spring).