Summer Palace

The Summer Palace (Yíhé Yuán –頤和園), also called the Garden of Virtue and Harmony, lies at the Western Hills northwest of Beijing.


Construction began in 1153 during the Jin Dynasty and was completed in 1764 during the Qing Dynasty. In 1860 the Palace was destroyed by English and French troops to humiliate the imperial family. In 1888, the Emperor’s widow Cixi began reconstruction of the Palace using resources which should have served to reconstruct the Imperial Fleet. During the Boxer Rebellion, the Palace was once again destroyed and rebuilt in 1903.

Summer Palace Beijing


In addition to the private residences of the Guangxu Emperor and Cixi the Emperor's widow, the 730m long corridor tracing Chinese history through the ages is particularly impressive with its 8000 pictures and scenes. Moving past the Mountain of Longevity, we come to the Marble Boat which, in contrast to the Imperial Fleet, has never changed its position.

Marble Boat Summer Palace


On the other side of the Mountain of Longevity, you find the remains of the Sumeru Temple and the old Suzhou Road. Suzhou Road was built as a shopping street exclusively for the Empress where she could pass the time and make purchases with money especially printed for her.

Suzhou Road in the Summer Palace in Beijing

Today, souvenirs and local handicrafts are sold here. Beijing visitors should definitely not miss a visit to the Summer Palace.


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