24 Hours Hotline: +86 137-3541-1378
+86 157-0009-4881
Email:

Your Location: Home > Beijing Attractions > Old Summer Palace

Old Summer Palace

old summer palace_07.jpg

Introduction
The Old Summer Palace, known in Chinese as Yuanming Yuan,and originally called the Imperial Gardens。It was a complex of palaces and gardens in present-day Haidian District,Beijing.Constructed throughout the 18th and early 19th centuries, the Old Summer Palace was the main imperial residence of Qianlong Emperor of the Qing dynasty and his successors, and where they handled state affairs; the Forbidden City was used for formal ceremonies. Widely conceived as the pinnacle work of Chinese imperial garden and palace design, the Old Summer Palace was an architectural wonder, known for its extensive collection of garden, its building architecture and numerous art and historical treasures. It was reputed as the "Garden of Gardens"in its heyday.In 1861 Victor Hugo compared the Summer Palace with the Parthenon, acclaiming it as “the thousand and one dreams of the thousand and one nights” built by “architects who are poets”.

History

old summer palace_03.jpgThe Old Summer Palace initially built in 1707 as a royal bestowal from the Kangxi Emperor to his fourth son Yinzhen, who later became the Yongzheng Emperor. The Old Summer Palace was continuously under expansion in the years after Yongzheng ascended to the throne.While the Chinese emperors took the Old Summer Palace as their second home and office, spending even longer there than in the Forbidden City, architects over the years absorbed advances of garden design, bringing into being an expo of nearly all the existing garden art of ancient China and an unprecedented blending of oriental and western art.

In 1860, during the Second Opium War, the joint British-French army destoryed the Old Summer Palace.The attack was followed by a fire ordered by the British High Commissioner to China, Eighth Earl of Elgin, in the aim to destroy the palace completely. It is said that the fire burnt for three days and nights until ashes took over the glories. The fire didn’t quite destroy everything but the Old Summer Palace continued to suffer from lootings by bandits who took advantage of the Eight-Nation Alliance’s invasion in Beijing, mismanagement of the governments in the next few decades, as well as the Cultural Revolution, which little by little led to the doom of the palace.

After the Cultural Revolution ended,the government set up a Yuanmingyuan administration.It took years to reclaim the palace from nature and restore the scattered rocks back to where they used to belong. The ruins we see today at the famous Dashuifa site were kept as they were as "the classroom that the invaders left for the Chinese people".

What to see in Old Summer Palace
This view is not unjustified if one goes to the Old Summer Palace expecting to be entertained or intellectually stirred. Yes, there is history to be had, but what remains of the luxurious palace is mostly unmowed grass.The palace and its gardens date back to the 12th century, having gone through numerous stages of development.

The park is divided up into three sections: Yuanmingyuan, Wanchunyuan, and Changchunyuan.Each section has its own lake and maze of waterways.
                old summer palace_04.jpgold summer palace_05.jpg
Xiyang Lou (Ruins of the European Style Palace) is located in the Changchunyuan section, and visitors should not miss it. This seven hectare area costs an additional 15 yuan to enter, but is well worth it.It was designed by an Italian court painter and a French engineer, the palaces here included a number of ornate fountains.

                xiyang section.jpgwanhuazhen.jpg
Wanhua Zhen (10,000 Flower Maze), the walkthrough maze and central pavilion have been reconstructed.It was a place for emperor and his concubines to have fun.Wanhua Zhen is a classic example for the intergration of eastern and western design.

To the west of Yuanmingyuan is the least frequented section of the park, which only opened in 2008. This massive new area is the perfect place for those looking for a little peace and quiet.Ruins are scattered throughout, with signage explaining which empress fancied staying there, or how emperors would feed the fish at such and such a fountain.  

Information
Address: 28 Yuanmingyuan Lu, Haidian District, north of Peking University.
Opening hours: 7:00 - 19:00
Admission Fee: 10 yuan; extra 15 yuan for the palace ruins.

Transportation
Take Bus: No. 320, 628, 697, 801, 特6, 319, 311, 432, 438, 498, 664, 690, 696, 826, arrive at Yuanmingyuan Qichunyuan; 664, 特4, 982, 365, 432, 656, 681, 717, 743, 814, 963, arrive at Yuanmingyuan Changchunyuan East gate.
Transportation within the garden: free for using wheelchair (deposit is 500 Yuan); 5 Yuan for a storage battery car.

Questions & Answers or Review
* Full Name
* E-mail
* Title of your review
* Your review
 

The following Beijing Private Tours may also interest you!

Most Popular Beijing City Highlights Day Tour

Duration:6-8 hours

Attractions(Cities):Forbidden City,Temple of Heaven,Nanluoguxiang Hutong

Tour Style:One of most recommended Beijing day tours, to visit the most famous tourist sites includes Beijing Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and experience the Beijing Hutong culture within one day.

View Details
From $65 p/p
One Day Private Beijing Essence Highlights Tour

Duration:6-8 hours

Attractions(Cities):Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace

Tour Style:Booking one day Beijing highlights tour will let you to visit the main attractions in Beijing city, includes Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace. It is an ideal trip during your stort stay in Beijing!

View Details
From $70 p/p
2-Day Classic Beijing City Sightseeing Tour Package

Duration:2 Days, 1 Night

Attractions(Cities):Temple of Heaven, Lama Temple, Forbidden City, Tian'anmen Square, Mutianyu Great Wall, Summer Palace, Nanluoguxiang Hutong

Tour Style:By this 2 days Beijing city sightseeing tour to discover the top sights around Beijing with personal tour guide and driver. Tour to the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven and the historic temples, head out to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China as well.

View Details
From $135 p/p
Private 2-day Beijing City Highlights Tour

Duration:2 Days, 1Night

Attractions(Cities):Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Mutianyu Greatwall, Temple of Heaven, Ming Tombs

Tour Style:Beijing 2 Day Package Tour covers major place to see in Beijing. With our professional Beijing tour guide will know the history of Forbbiden city, experience the hiking on the Great Wall...

View Details
From $145 p/p
3-Day Beijing Scenic Tour with Mutianyu Great Wall

Duration:3 Days, 2 Nights

Attractions(Cities):Temple of Heaven, Tian'anmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Mutianyu Great Wall, Dingling Tomb, Bird's Nest, Lama Temple, Drum Tower, Nuluoguxiang Hutong

Tour Style:Create your perfect Beijing tour itinerary with this private 3-day combo package. Visit up to 10 attractions of your choice including the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, the Forbidden City, and Tiananmen Square; enjoy the convenience of daily hotel pickup and private transport; and explore each attraction at your own pace.

View Details
From $255 p/p

Live Chat

Certificate of Excellence
2018

tripadvisor

China Private Tours-Day Tour

Certificate of Excellence
2017

tripadvisor

China Private Tours-Day Tour

Certificate of Excellence
2016

tripadvisor

China Private Tours-Day Tour

Your Idea of Your Trip
Adults:
(>11 years old)
Children:
(2 - 11 years old)
Babies:
(< 2 years old)
Date of trip
Hotel Class
Any specific requests/interests?
Contact Information

(Your Privacy is Protected)

Full Name: *
E-mail: *
Your Age: *
Nationality: *
Contact Phone Number: *
Submit

Tailor-Made

1 to 1 tailor-made service from our professional travel advisors for the most sophisticated

Authentic

Constantly excellent reviews for attraction, hotel and service Competitive price

Value Guarantee

Local experts provide quality tours Best selected knowledgeable local guides Authentic local restaurants

Stress-free Guaranteed

7*24 hours available to create you a worry-free tour. No Hidden Fees and absolutely no pressure to buy. Secured

Who choose us

ASTA Pata CATS IATA

We accept:

We accept

Email:

Copyright © 2017 Chinabeijingprivatetour.com All rights reserved.