Summer Palace, located in the west suburbs of
Haidian District, 15 kilometers away from central Beijing, is the
best-preserved imperial garden in China. It is one of the four most
famous ancient gardens (the other three being the Chengde Summer
Resort, Humble Administrator's Garden and Lingering Garden in Suzhou),
and is reputed as a museum of the art of Chinese garden building.
The Summer Palace was listed as one of the World Heritage Site by
the UNESCO in 1998.
It covers an area of 2.9 square kilometers, three
quarters of which is water. It is mainly composed of Longevity Hill
and the Kunming Lake. There are over 3000 buildings which include
palaces, gardens, pavilions, towers, temples and other structures
in classical style. All buildings are centered on the Tower of Buddhist
Incense (Fo Xiang Ge). The landscaped buildings were designed to
achieve harmony with nature, to please and smooth the eyes.
The Summer Palace is mainly divided into four
parts: the Court Area, Front Hill Area, Front Lake Area, and Rear
Hill area, each part with its own distinct character. .
The Court Area: This area served as the political
center on the grounds. It was where Empress Dowager Cixi and Emperor
Guangxu used to stay, and conduct state affairs. It is centered
on the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity ( Renshoudian), the office
of the Emperor. Other buildings which are worth a visit in this
part include: the Hall of Virtue and Harmony (Deheyuan), the biggest
theater in the Qing Dynasty, the Hall of Joyful Longevity ( Leshoutang),
the luxurious residence of Empress Dowager Cixi, and the Garden
of Harmony where Cixi was entertained.
Front Hill Area: The Front Hill Area is rich in
the splendid halls and pavilions. It has the most buildings.
Rear Hill and Back Lake Area: This part is famous
for its natural scenery. There are tranquil gardens, winding paths,
bridges, and hillocks. Highlights include Kunming Lake, a lake modeled
on Hangzhou's West Lake, and Suzhou Market Street, which recreates
traditional riverside shops
Front Lake Area: This area enjoys a great panoramic
view of the lake. In clear days, visitors are likely to see waves
gleam in a breeze, and willows kiss the ripples of the vast water.
The tranquility and beauty there always evokes an ambience of relaxation
and meditation. In this area, you can find the Eastern Bank and
Western Bank, Nanhu Island, and the amazing Marble Boat.
First constructed during the Jin Dynasty (1115
-1234), the Summer Palace undergone continuous extensions and renovations
over the following dynasties. The Qianlong Emperor of the Qing Dynasty,
in celebration of his mother's birthday, summoned the best designers
over the country to work on the imperial gardens, and created what
to become a luxurious loyal garden.
The garden was ransacked by the Anglo-French forces
in 1860 during the Opium Wars. Many of its buildings were burned
to the ground and its treasures looted. 28 years' later the notorious
Dowager Empress Cixi order restoration and renovation of the garden
and renamed it Summer Palace. The garden was open to the public
in 1924, and now it is one of the most well-known tourist attractions
Tour To Summer Palace
Day Private Beijing Tour To Forbidden City + Summer Palace + Temple
Day Private Beijing Tour To Tiananmen Square + Forbidden City +
Day Private Beijing Tour To Badaling Great Wall + Summer Palace
Day Private Beijing Tour To Mutianyu Great Wall + Summer Palace
Day Private Beijing Tour To Juyongguan Great Wall + Summer Palace
One Day Coach Tour To Badaling Great Wall And Summer Palace
Bus Day Tour To Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple Of Heaven
& Summer Palace
Half Day Tour To Summer Palace
Muslim Tour B: One Day Trip To Summer Palace, Niujie Mosque and
Temple of Heaven