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Summer Palace

Seventeen-Arch Bridge of Summer Palace, Beijing

Located in the northwestern suburb of Beijing, Capital of China, Summer Palace is reputed to be the best preserved Museum of Imperial Garden Architecture in China. Originally built in 1750, the imperial garden complex experienced several restorations and extensions throughout the late Qing Dynasty (1368 - 1644). Garden buildings at present are the result of the restoration in 1902.

Like most garden architecture in China, the design of the Summer Palace has borrowed from nature bringing mountains and lakes into a whole with a variety of palace buildings, temple structures and pavilions and pagodas and other garden constructions added to create a splendid paradise.

Most travelers enter the Summer Palace from East Palace Gate and the first section includes Court Area also called Administrative Area where emperors dealt with court affairs and diplomatic events. Hall of Benevolence and Longevity is the typical structure in this area. Right behind the Court Area is the Residential Area with Yulan Hall and Hall of Joyful Longevity where Empress Dowager Cixi lived. Garden of Virtue and Harmony (De He Yuan) is a handsome three-storied tower in which Empress Dowager Cixi and Emperor Guangxu watched the performances of Beijing Opera.

Beijing-Summer Palace 

Going further to the west from the residential area is the most unique attraction in the Summer Palace, Long Gallery. The gallery winds its way along the scenic Kunming Lake and connects various scenic spots together. The color paintings on the gallery beams depict natural scenes, flowers, animals and heroes in traditional Chinese legends and folklores.

A travel to the middle part of the Long Gallery brings tourists to Gate of Dispelling Clouds, which leads to the front part of the Longevity Hill. A range of splendid structures ascending along the axis of the hill include Hall of Dispelling Clouds, Tower of Buddhist Incense and Hall of the Sea of Wisdom. Behind the Longevity Hill, Suzhou Market Street is a river street flanked with traditional Chinese buildings and Garden of Harmonious Interests is a mini-scaled copy of a famous Suzhou Garden in southern China.

On the eastern bank of the Kunming Lake is a 150-meter (over 490 feet) long seventeen-arch bridge, which spans the lake with charming reflections in its waters.

Admission Fee: CNY 20 (Nov. 1 to Mar. 31)
CNY 30 (Apr. 1 to Oct. 31)
Opening Hours: 07:00-17:00 (Nov. 1 to Mar. 31)
06:30-18:00 (Apr. 1 to Oct. 31)
Time for a Visit:
One and a half hour
How to Get 1. Bus: 907, 375, 801, 808, 732, 394, 718
2. Subway: Line 4 to Beigongmen or Line 16 to Xiyuan

Recommended China Tour with Summer Palace

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