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The Summer Palace

June 29, 2018

The Summer Palace, the imperial garden of the Qing Dynasty in China, formerly known as the Qingyi Garden, is located in the western suburbs of Beijing, 15 kilometers away from the urban area, covering an area of about 290 hectares, adjacent to the Yuanmingyuan. It is a large landscape garden based on Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill, based on the West Lake of Hangzhou and drawing on the design techniques of gardens in the south of the Yangtze River. It is also the most complete imperial palace and imperial court preserved. It is known as the "Royal Garden Museum" and is also a national key tourist attraction.


Before Emperor Qianlong's succession in the Qing Dynasty, four large imperial gardens were built in the western suburbs of Beijing. In the fifteenth year of Qianlong (1750), Emperor Qianlong used 4.482 million silver to rebuild Qingyi Garden for the filial piety of his mother and holy queen, forming a 20-kilometer royal garden area from the present Tsinghua Garden to Xiangshan. In Xianfeng Decade (1860), Qingyiyuan was burned by the Anglo-French coalition forces. Guangxu fourteen years (1888) reconstruction, renamed the Summer Palace, as a summer resort. In the twenty-six years of Guangxu (1900), the Summer Palace was destroyed by the "Eight-Power Allied Forces" and its treasures were plundered. After the collapse of the Qing Dynasty, the Summer Palace was destroyed again in the period of warlord confrontation and Kuomintang rule.


On March 4, 1961, the Summer Palace was announced as the first batch of national key cultural relics protection units. It was also named as the four famous gardens of China, Chengde Summer Resort, Humble Administration Park and Living Garden, which were also announced at the same time. It was listed in the World Heritage List in November 1998. On May 8, 2007, the Summer Palace was officially approved by the National Tourism Administration as a national 5A tourist attraction. In 2009, the Summer Palace was selected as the largest imperial garden in China by the China World Records Association.


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