Thursday 22 January 2009

The Summer Palace, Beijing


The Summer Palace in Beijing - first built in 1750, largely destroyed in the war of 1860 and restored in its original situation in 1886 - is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. It is considered one of the most notable classical gardens of the world.  In 1998 it was added to UNESCO's World Heritage list.

In the picture below you can see the Marble Boat.  Two stories high and originally built in 1755 of wood and marble, it isn't really a boat at all, but a lakeside pavilion. 

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  1. There was a mention of the Summer Palace in Beijing in the real life documentary of Pu Yi, the last emperor of China on discovery history channel.

  2. Between this a Red Square you've hit on 2 of my favourite trips. It's always wonderful to see those views again. Thanks.

  3. Just wanted to append some trivia for you:
    (1) Empress Cixi was the one who rebuilt the entire palace. She was the one who commissioned the Marble boat which was her way of showing that funds for the navy were being used for them :).

    (2) The Lake, which is actually man made, was dredged up by Emperor Qianlong, also of the Qing Dynasty and one of China's best emperors (in terms of governance). He actually had naval battle exercises on the lake, a practice that the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, did at Lake Kunming because the capital of the Qin Dynasty was in Xi'An which is landlocked.


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