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Summer Palace

From Academic Kids

This page is about the Chinese palace; for the Russian palace, see Summer Palace (Russia).
The Summer Palace in Beijing
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The Summer Palace in Beijing

The Summer Palace or Yiheyuan (Template:Zh-cpl ) is a palace in Beijing, China.

The Summer Palace is mainly dominated by Longevity Hill (60 meter high) and Kunming Lake. It covers an expanse of 2.9 square kilometres -- three quarters of which is water. In its compact 70,000 square metres of building space, one finds a variety of palaces, gardens, and other ancient-sytle architectural structures.

The Summer Palace started out life as the Garden of Clear Ripples (Template:Zh-cp) in 1750 (Reign Year 15 of Emperor Qianlong). Artisans reproduced the garden architecture styles of various palaces in China. Kunming Lake was created by extending an existing water body to imitate the West Lake in Hangzhou. Suffering two attacks -- an Anglo-French allied invasion in 1860 (with the Old Summer Palace also ransacked at the same time) and the eight-power allied forces in 1900 -- it survived and was recreated in 1886 and 1902. In 1888, it was renamed to become the current-day Yihe Yuan, serving as a summer resort for Empress Dowager Cixi, who diverted 30 million taels of silver, said to be originally designated for the Chinese navy, into the reconstruction and enlargement of the Summer Palace.

View toward Kunminghu
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View toward Kunminghu

In December of 1998, UNESCO included the Summer Palace on its World Heritage List. It declared the Summer Palace an "outstanding expression of the creative art of Chinese landscape garden design, incorporating the works of humankind and nature in a harmonious whole".

The Summer Palace's main water body is called Kunminghu, or Kunming Lake. Crossing it is the 17-arch bridge (Template:Zh-cp). Other features of the Summer Palace include the Cloud-Dispelling Hall, the Tower of Buddhist Virtue, the Marble Boat, Suzhou Street (Template:Zh-cp), the Long Corridor, and the Jade Belt Bridge.

Location

The Summer Palace is easily accessible from most parts of Beijing. Head north at Suzhou Bridge on the north-western 3rd Ring Road, north at Sihai Bridge on the north-western 4th Ring Road, or south at the northern 5th Ring Road at the Zhongguancun/Beiqing Road exit. Public transportation also reaches the Summer Palace.

External links

de:Sommerpalast fi:Kespalatsi (Peking) fr:Palais d't ja:頤和園 sv:Sommarpalatset zh:颐和园

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