The Summer Palace

summer palace

The Summer Palace is located north-west, 15km away from Beijing and was the official vacation residence of the Emperor of China. Situated in the Haidian District, it was built over the Longevity Hill in front of the Kunming Lake. The entire Palace covers an expanse of 2, 9 square kilometres but three quarters of the entire space are part of the lake. Also called as “The gardens of Nurtured Harmony”, the Summer Palace is composed by a front hill, splendid pavilions and enormous gardens surrounded by the lake which shows the famous marble boat of the Chinese Empress.

tower 1

One of the pavillons

The lake is artificial and was supposed to recreate the West Lake in Hangzhou. A few of the decoration motifs and basically all the architecture wants to reproduce different places and gardens around China. The construction started in 1750 and became later the official residence of the Royal Family in the end of the Qing Dynasty.

In 1900 it suffered the attack of the Eight-Power Allied Force so it tokes two years to be repaired and was finally re-opened to the public in 1924.

The palace has been declared in 1998 by the UNESCO one of the places inside the World Heritage list and a masterpiece of the traditional Chinese architecture.

If you want to visit the Summer Palace:

Opening hours: 7am-5pm

Price: entire visit around 60 RMB (some towers and garden parts have an extra price)

  • By subway: Line 4 at Beigongmen or Xiyuan Station (Exit C2)
  • By Bus:

469 or 539 and get off at the Yiheyuan West Palace Gate Station.

303, 331, 346, 375, 384, 393, 498, 634, 683, 696, 697, 718, 801, 808, and get off at Yiheyuan.

209, 330, 331, 332, 346, 394, 683, 690, 696, 718, 801, 808, or 826 and get off at Yiheyuan too.

209, 319, 320, 331, 332, 333, 333, 394, 432, 438, 498, 628, 664, 718, 801, 826, 6, 114 and get off at Yiheyuanlu Dongkou Station which is the Eastern End of Yiheyuan Street.

front hill

Front hill of the Summer Palace

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