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Summer Palace Pictures

The Summer Palace in Beijing is the largest imperial garden in the world, a veritable museum of classical Chinese garden architecture. Its construction was initiated in 1750 by Emperor Qianlong as a birthday gift for his mother. It took 15 years to complete. The majority of the original buildings were destroyed by foreign troops during the plundering of Beijing in 1860. These were renovated in 1888 under the auspices of the Empress Dowager Cixi. Attraction Intro: Summer Palace

 Related Tours including Summer Palace: 4-Day Beijing Tour, 3-Day Beijing Tour

The Court Area, stretching from the East Palace Gate to the north shore of Kunming Lake, was used for administration in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), in which the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity has the most outstanding architecture. It has almost the same layout as the Forbidden City.

The front-hill area is the central part of the Summer Palace, with most of the important buildings concentrated here. The Tower of Buddhist Incense is the central building, with the other palaces scattered on its two sides, east and west.

Most of the buildings in the Lake Area are for recreation and sightseeing, where many bridges and architectures are in the style of the southern part of China. Six bridges in different styles are considered as the essence of the palace.

Many Tibetan style temples and the scenery in styles of southern China highlight the Rear-hill area. In general, this area is not as prosperous as the front area, except the Suzhou Market Street. Only the ruins of the terrace and the walls remain to commemorate its original splendor.

The Gallery of Literary Prosperity houses about forty thousand relics of the imperial families from Shang Dynasty (1066BC-1046BC) to Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), and includes various categories such as jade, gold, ancient furniture, precious books and so on. It is one of the best exhibition halls in China.