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Home >> Beijing Travel Attractions >> Summer Palace travel information and tour

Summer Palace

Summer Palace
Summer Palace
Summer Palace

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 in Beijing.

Relate Beijing Tour To Summer Palace

PT_01: One Day Private Beijing Tour To Forbidden City + Summer Palace + Temple of Heaven

PT_02: One Day Private Beijing Tour To Tiananmen Square + Forbidden City + Summer Palace

PT_08: One Day Private Beijing Tour To Badaling Great Wall + Summer Palace

PT_09: One Day Private Beijing Tour To Mutianyu Great Wall + Summer Palace

PT_10: One Day Private Beijing Tour To Juyongguan Great Wall + Summer Palace

SIC_03: Beijing One Day Coach Tour To Badaling Great Wall And Summer Palace

SIC_04: Beijing Bus Day Tour To Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple Of Heaven & Summer Palace

HDT_05: Beijing Half Day Tour To Summer Palace

MT_02: Beijing Muslim Tour B: One Day Trip To Summer Palace, Niujie Mosque and Temple of Heaven


Beijing Attractions
Forbidden City
Badaling Great Wall
Mutianyu Great Wall
Temple of Heaven
Summer Palace
Tiananmen Square
Beijing Opera
Ming Tombs
Underground Palace
Yonghegong Lamasery
Beijing Hutong
White Cloud Taoist Temple
Beihai Park
Jinshanling Great Wall
Simatai Great Wall
Juyongguan Great Wall
JianKou Great Wall
Beijing Zoo
Confucian Temple
Shichahai Hutong
Tanzhe Temple
Fragrant Hills Park
798 Art Zone
Aquatics Center "Water Cube"
National Stadium "Bird's Nest"

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