Leiden Asia Year Map #5

LAY005

Route Map for an Inspection Tour by the Qianlong Emperor to South China in 1784

Two manuscript leporellos, 12 x 208 cm

SINOL. VGK 3039.7.6

The emperors of China made regular inspection tours to South China, travelling by boat along the Imperial Canal from the capital Beijing to various cities in the south. The Qianlong Emperor (reigned 1736–1796) made no fewer than six of such journeys. This map was most likely made for him as a preparation for his fifth tour in 1784.

On the map he travelled from right (north) to left (south). The map is accompanied by a description of previous visits by him and his predecessors. This section shows his visit to Yangzhou in 1745, at the time one of the most prosperous cities in China. The Emperor’s route on land is indicated in yellow.

See also: Route Map for an Imperial Inspection Tour to South China, 1784 by Koos Kuiper