Spreading out some 15 kilometers away from the city center in the northwestern suburbs of Beijing, the Summer Palace occupies an area of 290 hectares in total, of which three fourths is covered by a pool of water and the rest the land and hills.
Being a summer resort of the Qing royal family the Summer Palace is the most intact, the best preserved and the largest of its kind of the classical gardens in the country. Starting to be built in 1153, the 1st year under the reign of Zhenyuan of the Kin Dynasty, the garden underwent many a time reconstruction and renovation in the Yuan and Ming dynasties. And still later a large-scale reconstruction was again done on it in the period of Emperor Qianlong's reign of the Qing Dynasty, renaming it the "Garden of Crystal Ripples" when completed. In 1860, it was brought down to ashes by the Anglo-French Allied Army, and being rebuilt in 1886 in the hands of Empress Dowager Cixi by embezzling the funds allocated for the building of the navy, it was again renamed as the " Summer Palace", However, it was destroyed again in 1900 by the Eight Powers Allied Forces and it was rebuilt again in 1903.
Tours with Summer Palace included:
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