The Summer Palace Travel Guide
The Summer Palace is located in the western outskirts of Haidian District and it is 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from central Beijing.
The Summer Palace in Beijing--first built in 1750, largely destroyed in the war of 1860 and restored on its original foundations in 1886--is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value.
The Summer Palace is concentrated essence of China´s classical buildings which accommodate the different local garden styles all over the country. so it is regarded as the museums of garden architecture.
As the royal garden in China´s history, The Summer Palace had become a luxurious royal garden providing royal families with rest and entertainment by the time of the Qing Dynasty (1644AD-1911AD).
The Summer Palace is composed mainly of Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake, and it covers an area of 294 hectares (726.5 acres), three quarters of which is water. Guided by nature, artists designed the gardens exquisitely so that visitors would see marvelous views and be amazed by perfect examples of refined craftwork using the finest materials.
Creative art of Chinese landscape garden design
The Summer Palace divided into three main parts according to different use. They are the political area, living area and the area for amusement. Then main building of the political area is Ren Shou Tang (the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity),which is the place for Empress Dowager Cixi and Emperor Guangxu to handle state affairs and receive foreign envoys. The living area is primarily consists of Leshou Tang where Empress Dowager Cixi lived, Yujian Tang and Yiyun Tang where Emperor Guangxu and his concubines lived. The Covered Walkway, Rear Hill and Rear Lake make a large area for the imperial family to relax.
A potent symbol of one of the major world civilizations
The Summer Palace is comprehensive expression of the traditional Chinese garden arts. On one hand it concentrates all Chinese imperial gardens magnificence.
On the other hand the Summer Palace is full of interests of the nature by borrowing the beautiful view of the landscape around, Highly embodied the principal of man made but as it were created by the nature the Summer Palace takes Kunming Lake and Logevity Hill as her main body. Among the ancient architectures in the garden, the Covered Walkway, Tower of Buddhist Incense, the Marble Boat, the 17-Arch Bridge and Grand Theater are the most famous ones and well known to visits both home and abroad.
Why it is must-see sight?
The Summer Palace not only offer you the wonderful natural scenery to enjoy, but also enable you to experience the history and culture of China, in addition, enjoy the royal family´s life.
Can be reached by bus No.301,303,346,630,355,374,992,904,905 360,332.
Joint Ticket: CNY 60 including Entrance ticket to Summer Palace, Chamber of Cultural Prosperity, Garden of Harmonious Virtue, Pavilion of the Fragrance of Buddha and Suzhou Street.
Kunming Lake Boating: CNY 15 (Apr. 1 to Oct. 31)