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The Ruins of Yuanmingyuan

The Ruins of Yuanmingyuan Travel Guide

Brief Introduction
In a quiet section of the suburbs of Beijing to the northwest of Qinghua University, there once stood a complex of gardens known as the Yuanmingyuan. Built in the Qing Dynasty, this "garden of gardens" was made up of the Garden of Perfection and Light (Yuanmingyuan), and the Garden of Ten Thousand Springtimes (Wanchunyuan).

On October 5, 1860, the Anglo-French Allied Armies occupied the town of Haidian in the northwest suburbs of the capital, and on October 7 the mad plunder of the garden began. Finally, Lord Elgin´s cavalry set the gardens on fire, leaving them to burn for three days and three nights.

After their retreat, repairs were begun, but in 1900 the Eight-Power Allied Forces, leaving it in complete ruin, brought further destruction upon the garden. Before long, members of the imperial household and the warlords of the early Republican period took whatever could be made use of out of the rubble, including wood, stones, bricks or tiles.

The most striking ruin in the whole garden is the complex of Western-style buildings, the construction of which began in 1746, the 10th year of Emperor Qianlong´s reign. Situated near the northern wall of the Garden of Eternal Spring, these buildings were designed by the Jesuits Castiglione and Benoit.

They included the Observatory and Hall of Tranquility, which were decorated with fine fountains and pools in the style of Versailles. In addition, their roofs and walls were embellished with glazed tiles in brilliant colors.
It is hoped that before long the splendor of the garden will be restored.


By Bus No. 320, 628, 697, 801 or Subway Line No. 4

DCT Tips:

Time of Ticket On Sale:
07:00-17:30 (Nov-Mar)
07:00-18:30 (Apr, Sept-Oct)
07:00-19:00 (May-Aug)

The Ruins of Yuanmingyuan
The Ruins of Yuanmingyuan

The Ruins of Yuanmingyuan

The Ruins of Yuanmingyuan

The Ruins of Yuanmingyuan

The Ruins of Yuanmingyuan

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