Why the Summer Palace is special
Located at the northwest suburb of Beijing, this sprawling palace with its lakes and gardens originally served as a royal garden and a temporary dwelling palace for imperial families of Qing Dynasty. In 1860 and 1900 the palace severely damaged by invading foreign armies but rebuilt twice by Empress Dowager Cixi.
It is one of the largest, best preserved, and most compelling royal gardens in the world. The Summer Palace boasts the peak of Chinese gardening and architectural art, yet the whole is harmonious, known as “The Loyal Gardens Museum” and ranked as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Summer Palace Highlights
The Kumming Lake is available for boat rides during much of the year, and ice skates can be performed during the frozen winter months.
As the longest walkway in the Chinese gardens, the 795-yard-long corridor parallels the lake with its ceiling and columns lavishly painted with 10,000 different landscape and animal scenes.
It is the most famous attractions in the Summer Palace. Being neither marble nor boat, it is permanently docked on the lake bed next to the shore. The super-structure of the boat is made of stone painted white to look like marble.
The Tower of the Fragrance of the Buddha dominates the shop which is covered with impressive religious buildings.
Hall of Benevolence and Longevity
The principal ceremonial hall houses the throne upon which Cixi sat.