Summer Palace is a vast ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces. It was royal garden of Chinese emperor in Qing Dynasty, and it becomes a popular tourist destination and recreational park nowadays.
It covers an area of 2.9 square kilometers, among of which 2.2 square kilometers is the surface of the water that is called Kunming Lake . This lake is absolutely man-made. The excavated soil when digging for this lake was used to build Longevity Hill that is actually the rest of The Summer Palace.
World Heritage Site
The Longevity hill is about 60 meters above sea level and Towers, pagodas, rooms, and other buildings are to be built in sequence along the front side of this hill. In December 1998, The Summer Palace was included in the list of World Heritage by UNESCO, which declares that the Summer Palace is “a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design”.
The origins of the Summer Palace date back to 1153 AD, when the initial buildings were ordered to be built under the order of the 4th ruler of Wanyan Liang (r. 1150–1161). Followed in 1271 AD, a water reservoir for ensuring the water supply for Beijing was activated and being accomplished. In Min dynasty, the Emperor Zheng – De ordered to build palaces in front of the lakes and made it an imperial garden;
Around 1749 AD, the Qianlong Emperor of Qing dynasty ordered to expanded the lake in the name of improving the capital’s waterworks system, also to be a water source for the agricultural areas nearby. The earth excavated from the expansion of Kunming Lake was used to enlarge the hill, which was renamed “Longevity Hill”. The Summer Palace, whose construction was completed in 1764 AD
The design of the Summer Palace was based on the Chinese mythology about three legend mountains in the East Sea, of which are the Peng-lai, Fang-zhang and Ying-zhou. The three islands in Kunming Lake – Nan-hu Island, Tuan-cheng Island and Zao-jian-tang Island – were built to represent the three holy mountains in the east sea, while the Kunming lake itself was to be built based on the West Lake in Hangzhou. In addition, numbers of architectures feature the well-known Chinese buildings accross china, such as: the Phoenix Pier features Tai Lake; the Jing-ming Tower features Yue-yang-lou; the Wang-chan Pavilion features Yellow Crane Tower; and the shopping streets were built as an imitation of those in Suzhou and Yang-zhou. There was also a Long Corridor with length of more than 700 meters.
In 1860, Yuan-Ming-Yuan of the summer palace was burn down in the end of the Second Opium War. Between 1884–95, the rebuiding was activated by the Guang-xu Emperor (1875–1908),due to the limit budget, the rebuilding work was concentrated on those of which are in front of Longevity Hill and the dams of Kunming Lake.
Summer Palace Data
Official site : http://www.summerpalace-china.com/
High Season: Main Gate: 06:30 – 18:00 | Inside spots: 08:30 – 17:00
Low Season: Main Gate： 07:00 – 17:00 | Inside spots: 09:00 – 16:00
Address & Contact
Add:No. 19 Xin jian gong men Rd, Haidian district, Beijing
Phone: +86 10 6288 1144
High Season: Apr 1st to Oct 31st
Low Season: Nov 1st to the next Mar 31st
High Season : Full Rate Ticket: RMB 30.00 per person | Through ticket: RMB 60.00 per person
Low Seasoon : Full rate Ticket: RMB 20.00 per person | Through ticket: RMB 50.00 per person on low season
Through ticket including the entrance ticket, Wen chang yuan, De he yuan, Fo Xiang Ge and Su Zhou Street
How to Get There
The North Gate –By bus : Take No.303, No.330, No.331, No.346, No.375, No.384, No.393, No.634, No.716, No.718, No.696, No.683, No.801, No.808, No.817, No.834, No.S5,at bus stop “North gate of Summer Palace”
The East Gate –By bus : Take No.209, No.330, No.331, No.332, No.346, No.394, No.712, No.718, No.726, No.732, No.696, No.683, No.801, No.808, No.817, No.826, gat bus stop “East gate of Summer Palace”
The New Gate –By bus : Take No.374, No.437, No.704, No.992, No.481, No.952 , at bus stop “New gate of Summer Palace”