The Summer Palace, located ten kilometers to the northwest of Beijing, used to be a summer residence of Qing Dynasty emperors. It is an imperial garden known far and wide for its architectural grandeur and stunning natural beauty. It is one of the Four Most Famous Gardens in China. The construction of the Summer Palace started in 1750.
The northern part of the Summer Palace is the 60-meter-tall Longevity Hill. Its southern part is a wide expanse of water called Kunming Lake. The whole garden covers 290 hectares, with the lake taking up four-fifths of its total area.
Along the northern bank of Kunming Lake runs the Long Corridor with a total length of 728 meters and 273 sections.. The crossbeams of the Long Corridor are decorated with more than 8,000 color paintings with Chinese landscape and historical stories.
The 17-arch bridge on the southern bank of Kunming Lake is more than 150 meters long. Carved stone lions, of different sizes and postures, sit on top of the bridge's stone columns. An octagonal pavilion stands at one end of the bridge and near the pavilion lies a bronze ox with its head raised toward the lake. On the back of the ox is engraved a line from Emperor Qianlong stating that the ox is used to control flooding of the lake.
A Ming-style street winds along a stretch of water on the back side of Longevity Hill. The Suzhou Street, 300 meters long, is lined with more than 60 shops and decorated with archways and gateways. The shops, of different shapes and sizes, are built with bluish gray tiles and bricks. The marketplace lends a folksy flavor to the imperial garden.
Summer Palace is a fascinating ensemble of gardens, lakes and palaces
Book a tour to the Summer Palace and experience a stunning ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces in Beijing. It remains to be a popular tourist destination to this day!
The buildings are positioned in a fashion that creates a sharp contrast to the hilly backdrop. Enjoy walking through these splendid halls and pavilions, admiring the construction and natural beauty all at once!