The Summer Palace, Beijing, China
The Summer Palace
About this place
The Summer Palace is located on the northwest outskirts of Beijing, about 20 kilometers away from the center of the city. It is formed mainly of Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake ，covering a total area of over 290 hectares while Kunming Lake occupies three quarters of the whole area. As the best preserved imperial garden in the world and one of the largest of its kind still existing in China today, it was placed on the List of World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 1998.
According to the legend ,there were supposed to be 3 islands called Penglai, Yingzhou and Fangzhang to the east of Bohai Bay, where people believed that the Gods lived. One of the island-Penglai Island was where a kind of Chinese herbal medicine grew which was supposed to prolong people’s lives. Emperor Qin Shihuang ,the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty and Emperor Wu Di in the Han Dynasty both sent lots of people to look for the herbal longevity medicine in Penglai Island but both of them failed . After the failure, Emperor Wu Di ordered people to dig a big pool at the back of his palace with 3 artificial hills representing the 3 Fairland Mountains of Penglai, Yingzhou and Fangzhang. Since Han Wu Di built a big pool with 3 artificial hills in his garden, this layout became a traditional legendary style of gardening followed by one dynasty after another. The Summer Palace was also built in this traditional style.
“Although it is artificial, it looks like the masterpiece from the hands of God.” This is a basic construction theory in our ancient Chinese Architecture . And the Summer Palace has been the most beautiful illustration of it.
How to Get There:
East Gate of the Summer Palace (Dong-gong-men Stop):
North Gate of the Summer Palace (Bei-gong-men Stop):
Bus 303、330、331、346、375、384、393、634、716、718、737、801、808、817、834、Express 5
South Gate of the Summer Palace ( Xin-jian-gong-men Stop):
West Gate of the Summer Palace ( Xin-jian-gong-men Stop):
The Summer Palace Address
Yi He Yuan Road, Haidian District., China, Beijing