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History of the Summer Palace

July 06, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 182

The Summer Palace is located in the northwest of Beijing and it's mainly composed of the Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake, functioning as a famous tourist resort during the Yuan dynasty (1206-1368) for its amazing natural scenery, of which the Longevity Hill was called the Urn Hill in the Yuan dynasty, and it was known to the public for a mysterious legend. Behind the Longevity Hill is Wengshan Lake that functioned as an impounded reservoir, proving clear water for imperial families in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911). A number of influential temples were built around Wengshan Lake during the Ming and Qing dynasties, where the emperors used to go boating or go fishing with his servants.

Initially known as Clear Ripple Garden, the construction of the Summer Palace started under imperial order in 1750 and was finished in 1764. Beijing Summer Palace covers an area of 290 hectares with the water area of 200 hectares, functioning as a royal residence for the Qing emperors, and it was the last Qing-era garden according to "the Three Hill & Five Garden Project" (which referred to Longevity Hill, Fragrant Hill and Jade Spring Hill, Clear Ripple Garden, Garden of Tranquility and Pleasure, Garden of Tranquility and Brightness, Changchun Garden and Yuanming Garden built under imperial order). There were 4 large-scale imperial gardens successfully built before the reign of Emperor Qianlong, each of which has its own style. The Clear Ripple Garden (later Beijing Summer Palace) was built to connect the previous four gardens in 1750 and it stretched from present Qinghua Garden to the Fragrant Hill, which was unfortunately burnt by the English-French combined armies in 1860, so the Empress Dowager embezzled military expenditure (300,000,000 tael of silver) to rebuild it in the 14th year (1888) of emperor Guangxu's reign and renamed it the Summer Palace. The Summer Palace was ransacked by the Eight Power Allied Force in 1900 with a number of architectures burnt, and it was renovated in the 29th year (1903) of Guangxu's reign. It was greatly destroyed during the Republic of China ruled by Chiang Kai Shek later, which wasn't renovated until the foundation of the People's Republic of China.

The Summer Palace was listed among the first batch "Key Cultural Relic Units under China's State Protection" by the State Council on 4th of March in 1961 and "the World Heritage Sites" by the UNESCO in November of 1998 as well as "China's AAAAA-Level Scenic Area" by China's National Tourism Administration on 8th of May in 2007.

I am a professional writer to write articles on tourism, and more information about Beijing Travel and Beijing Summer Palace are available in my service. Please free free to ask any question on tourism, and your questions are always welcome.

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