The Summer Palace in Beijing

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While the main attraction of Beijing in terms of architecture is the Forbidden City and Great Wall of China, there is a palace that leaves visitors speechless, not to be as gone as the other two sites just mentioned, given its great distance from downtown City and lower (but not unknown) popularity.

The Summer Palace in Beijing

Photography by jimg944

The Summer Palace (Yi He Yuan), also known as the Garden of Health and Harmony was first built during the Qing Dynasty in 1750 by Emperor Quianlong. The same is located about 12 kilometers from downtown Beijing, and has nearly 300 acres surrounding a multitude of buildings that reach to the order of 3000, telling their pavilions, halls and kiosks.

In 1860 the farm was burned in by the Anglo-French Allied Forces during the Second Opium War, almost completely destroying the place. Shortly after it was rebuilt and embellished by the Empress Cixi, which became the Palace a symbol of corruption and excess.

Beijing to Destinations

Photography by Ivan Walsh

These events involve numerous sights surrounding each of the buildings. One of the most impressive is the famous Marble Boat. The same was initially built of marble and glass, but is now largely built of wood. Its construction was funded during the reign of Cixi, the budget that was intended to renew the Navy at that time.

Other major works is the Great Hall, built by the Empress to avoid being disturbed by rain and snowfall. Thus you can see a great hall roofed over 750 feet long, decorated with thousands of punctures of great beauty that tell stories of Chinese culture. At halfway, is the Fragrant Buddha Pagoda, a building that stands on the Hill of Longevity Millennial.

Moreover, the Bridge of Seventeen Arcos is a prominent building within the immense whole. This is situated near Nanhu Island on Lake Kunming. Its area is 150 meters and eight meters wide. The same is crowned by 540 carved lions that guard the place in a solemn manner.

Finally, include a peculiar curiosity, Yulan Hall. In this he was confined for more than 10 years the Emperor Guangxu, grandson of the Empress Dowager Cixi. The reason that stayed there was for trying to make a reform in 1898, a fact not entirely pleased with his grandmother, who ordered his detention on site. The emperor lived there without any contact with the exterior, including doors and windows of the room were sealed.

Summer Palace

Photography by Ivan Walsh

The Summer Palace is an excellent visit in the capital of China, given its beauty and impressive history. The only point to note is that, as in many cases tourism architecture in China, is that others from entering the premises, is required to pay extra innings to visit the various attractions of the place that despite its price, no doubt are well worth.


The Summer Palace is located in the Haidian district, their hours vary by season (6:30 to 18:00 in high season, from 7:00 to 17:00 during low season and from 7:00 to 21 : 00 national holidays). Their prices also vary with the seasons.

Bon voyage!

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