Summer Palace



The Summer Palace lies more than 10 km on the northwestern outskirts of Beijing, it is up to now the best preserved and the largest imperial gardens in China.
In 1888, the Empress Dowager Ci'xi decided to spend the money originally earmarked for the Chinese Navy and rebuilt the garden, she herself gave it its present name of Yi He Yuan (Garden of Cultivated Harmony), and ever since then, the Empress Dowager Ci'xi started to spend every summer here and had it restored after it was damaged again in 1900.
Like most imperial palaces in China, the Summer Palace is divided into three parts: halls for political affairs, living quarters and religious buildings. The main features of the Summer Palace are Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill, it has an area of 290 hectares, approximately the size of seven Tian’anmen Square, it also boasts more than 3,000 bays of various buildings in different palace and garden architectural styles. Kunming Lake consists of three fourths of the whole garden.