The hall is located on Longevity Hill, as well as on the central axis of the Summer Palace. Empress Dowager Cixi celebrated her 60th and 70th birthdays at the Hall of Dispelling Clouds. A bronze dragon and phoenix are located outside the hall to symbolize supreme power, and a pair of bronze lions and 12 Taihu rocks stand in front of the Gate of Dispelling Clouds. The 12 rocks imply the 12 zodiac animals and assume strange shapes respectively: a rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Together with the lions, the auspicious animals ward off evil spirits and protect the imperial buildings.