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The Summer Palace. The Largest and best-preserved royal garden in China. History The Summer Palace (1). The Summer Palace has a history of over 800 years. Early in the Jin dynasty, an imperial palace was built on the present site.
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The Summer Palace The Largest and best-preserved royal garden in China
History The Summer Palace (1) The Summer Palace has a history of over 800 years. Early in the Jin dynasty, an imperial palace was built on the present site. In 1750, Emperor Qian Long of the Qing dynasty built the Garden of Clear Ripples and renamed the hill Longevity Hill to celebrate his mother's birthday. In 1860, the Anglo-French Allied Forces invaded Beijing and set fire to the garden. In 1888, Empress Dowager Cixi, with funds embezzled from the Imperial Navy, restored the grand garden.
History The Summer Palace (2) The construction lasted for ten year and after completion, Cixi renamed it Yiheyuan - Garden of Peace and Harmony. In 1900, the garden was plundered again by the eight powers. This time, nearly all big temples and halls at the back of the Longevity Hill were destroyed and only one survived. When the fugitive Cixi returned to Beijing in 1903, did the full-scale restoration begin. This is what we see today.
Palace of Benevolent Longevity (1) The place where Empress Dowager Cixi and Emperor Guangxu took charge of state affairs. It is the main hall in the Summer Palace. It was first built in 1750. In 1860 when the Anglo-French allied forces invaded Beijing, the original building was burned down. In 1890, the hall was rebuilt and renamed as Hall of Benevolent Longevity by Emperor Guangxu.
Palace of Benevolent Longevity (2) In front of the hall, bronze animals, cauldrons, dragons and phoenixes were placed. Kylin is the most attractive. With a body covered with fish scales, the legendary animal has a dragon's head, lion's tail, deer's antlers and ox's hooves. Bronze Kylin Bronze Phoenix Bronze Dragon
Hall of Jade Ripples Yulan Tang where Guangxu was house arrested (1) Located at the back of the Palace of Benevolent Longevity, Jade Ripple is the place where Emperor Qianlong spent his leisure hours. It is later Emperor Guangxu’s private living place and where he was house arrested for 10 days by Empress Dowager Cixi after Wuxu Reform in 1898. Cixi made her nephew, four-year old Guangxu, a successor after Emperor Tongzhi, Dowager Cixi’s son, Died.
Hall of Jade Ripples, Hallmark of Wuxu Reform (2) In 1898, Wuxu Reform was lead by Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao who won Emperor Guangxu for their cause. They tried to reform the state examinations, administration, state budget, ministries, education, jurisdiction, and military. The reform, lasted for 100 days, was abruptly ended by Empress Dowager Cixi.
Hall of Joyful Longevity, Dowager Cixi (1835-1908) The place where Cixi lived from April to Oct. every year. The eastern sub-garden is the residence of Li Lianying, her favorite eunuch. The Hall was burned down by the Anglo-French allied forces, and was rebuilt by Cixi in 1889. Dowager Cixi Cixi became a concubine of Emperor Xian Feng at the age of 16. She was the only concubine who gave a birth of a son, Tong zhi. Her Son became emperor at the age of 5 when the father, Emperor Xianfeng died at the age of 30 in 1861. Dowager Cixi become a regent.
Hall of Joyful Longevity, Dowager Cixi (2) Emperor Tongzhi died at the age of 18, left no children. Cixi Chose her nephew, 4-year-old Guangxu to be the emperor. Cixi house rested Guangxu after 100-day Wuxu Reform in 1898. Cixi manipulated and Suppressed the boxer Rebellion (1899-1900). She fled to Xian when the allied 8 foreign powers cruelly and destructively invaded Peking. Xinchou Treaty was signed in 1901. Decided Puyi to be the successor who was 2 years old in 1908. Died in 1908, one day after the death of Guangxu who was at the age of 37. A corrupted ruler who squandered money on banquets, jewels, and used navy funds to build the Summer Palace.
Pavilion of Precious Clouds Palace of Parting Clouds was the place where Empress Dowager Cixi celebrated her birthdays. Every October 10 on the lunar calendar, a grand ceremony was due here in the palace to mark the dowager's birthday. Sitting atop a treasure a treasure chair with nine-dragon motif (normally only used by emperor), Cixi received kowtows of Emperor Guangxu and the retinues.
Kunming Lake, Zhichun Pavilion Kunming Lake, connected with Beijing's largest reservoir -- the Miyun Reservoir, is the largest water body in suburban Beijing. Zhi Chun Ting (Understanding Spring Pavilion) on the islet is characterized by four - edged, multiple eaved roofs.
Western Dike Like a green necklace, Western Dike winds around the western bank of Kunming Lake. Similar to the Sudi Dike, a famous scenic city in South China's city of Hangzhou .
Marble Boat First built in 1750 by Emperor Qianlong, the boat to symbolize ever-stable governance of Qing Dynasty which "could not be turned down by water." The boat was with a Chinese-style wooden superstructure. In 1860, the original boat was burned down by the Anglo-French forces. In 1893, it was rebuilt with a French-style superstructure and two wheelers added to it.
Seventeen-Arch Bridge Built during the Qianlong Reign (1736-1795) of the Qing dynasty, Seventeen-Arch Bridge, 150m long and 8m wide, is ranked as the biggest bridge in Summer Palace. Connecting Dragon King Temple in the east and the Island west, the bridge spans Kunming Lake with 17 bridge openings under it, hence the name Seventeen-Arch Bridge.
Bronze Ox Bronze Ox, located to the east of Seventeen-Arch Bridge, was cast in 1755 when Emperor Qianlong expanded Summer Palace. It was said that in ancient times, ox used to be a symbol of flood control. Early in the Xia dynasty, whenever flood was brought under control, people used to put an iron ox in the riverbed. In the Tang dynasty, people placed the ox by the bank of the river instead in the riverbed. In the Qing dynasty, Emperor Qianlong, following the Tang dynasty example, placed a bronze ox east of Kunming Lake to bless the safe of the lake.
Garden of Harmonious Delights When Emperor Qianlong paid a visit to South China in 1751, he fell in love with the architectural style of Jichang Garden under the Hui Hill of Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province. This garden in Summer Palace modeled after the Jichang Garden. The building is composed of 10 pavilions, halls, terraces and 100-odd winding corridors.
Long Corridor The Long Corridor is like a gallery that has 8000 colorful paintings. It has almost 300 rooms with paintings, designs and decorations. The figures on the paintings are based on Chinese classical novels such as Liao Zhai, Xiyou Ji, Sanguo Yanyi and Shuihu Zhuan. . Traveling along the Long Corridor, visitors feel like going through a picturesque journey.
Suzhou Street Nicknamed Fair Street at Qianlong's reign, Suzhou Street was destroyed in 1860. It was once a commercial street for emperor, empress and concubines to have a taste of shopping. Reconstructed in 1990 at the same site, the street stretches 300 meters along a stream.
Pavilion of Buddhist Fragrance The eight-facet, three-story, four-cables Pavilion of Buddhist Fragrance is built on a huge stone foundation before the Longevity Hill. The altar-like foundation upholds the 41-meter-high pavilion to oversee other buildings.
Sea-of-Wisdom Temple Sea-of-Wisdom Temple and Bounday of Popular Fragrance are two religious structures located on the upper axis line of the Tower of Buddhist Fragrance. Sea-of-Wisdom Temple, on the top of Longevity Hill, implies the Buddha's wisdom is as wide as the sea.
Pavilion of Precious Clouds and Revolving Scripture Repository Pavilion of precious clouds, west of Pavilion of Buddhist Fragrance, is a pure copper building weighing 207 tons. The 7.5-meter-high pavilion is made up of thousands of copper parts and components.
Longevity Hill Longevity Hill (Wanshou Shan) faces Kunming Lake in the front. The buildings go symmetrically along its eastern and western slopes. Gardens, pavilions, and halls now and then emerge or disappear amidst evergreen trees. Pavilions of Buddhist Fragrance takes its stance on the front hill.
Four Continents (1) The Four Continents are the main group of buildings in the rear hills. Its unique layout, magnificent architecture and religious atmosphere surrounding the buildings add a touch of mystery to the region. According to Buddhist scriptures, around the Xuni Mountain, the residence of Buddha, there is a salty sea. The four continents of different shapes are in the four corners of the sea.
Four Continents (2) The four shapes represent "Four Greatness" in Buddhist Scriptures, namely Earth (square), Fire (triangle), Wind (crescent), and Water (circle). Accordingly, the Four Continents, actually four buildings, are built after the element they represent.
Yuan Ming YuanThe Ruins of "Garden of Gardens“The most magnificent and largest garden of both the east and west styles • First built in 1709 and completed in 1859. Substantial work was done especially in the Qianlong period (1736-1796). It had three gardens with European palaces, Renaissance styles and Venice lakes. • Burned down by Britain and France alliance in 1860. • Reconstruction started in 1885 and completed in 1895 • The Eight Foreign Powers destroyed and looted it again in 1900.