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The Summer Palace located at the western outskirts of Beijing , which is about 15 kilometers away from downtown. Covering an area of 293 hectares, it was the largest royal park and designated as a Key Cultural Relics Protection Site of China by the State Council in 1960s. It was listed as one of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Constructed in the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234).During the succeeding dynasties, it was expanded continuously. In 1750s large scale of construction was involved. It became a luxurious royal garden providing royal families with rest and entertainment in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). In the history the Summer Palace was occupied and plundered by foreigners for two times. In 1860 it was destroyed by Anglo-French Allied Forces. In 1900 it was ransacked by the Eight- Power Allied Forces. In the year of 1886 and 1903 the Empress Dowager Cixi reconstructed the Summer Palace. During the late years of the Qing Dynasty the Empress Dowager spent most of her time there to deal with state affairs and entertain herself. After the success of the 1911 Revolution, it was opened to the public.
The Summer Palace is famous for its picturesque scenery and beautiful buildings. The mirror-liked Kunming Lake covers three quarters of the whole area. The Longevity Hill is like a beautiful screen standing at the bank of the lake. When climbing the Tower of Buddhist you can have a marvelous view of the whole park. The Long Corridor with numerous paintings like a ribbon connecting the main buildings. The Marble Boat with unique style will give you a deep impression. Definitely the Summer Palace is one must-go for people to visit Beijing.

The Summer Palace The Nanhu Isaland
The Summer Palace
The Nanhu Isaland
17 Arch Bridge
The Long Corridor
17 Arch Bridge
The Long Corridor
The Marble Boat
Xiequ Garden in Summer Palace
The Marble Boat
Xiequ Garden in Summer Palace
Temples in the Summer Palace
The Suzhou Shopping Street in the Summer Palace
Temples in the Summer Palace
The Suzhou Shopping Street in the Summer Palace

Story Aabout the Dragon Lady Empress Dowager Cixi
Empress Dowager Cixi , from a Manchurian middle class official’s family, born on 10th of October in lunar calendar 1835, died on the 22nd of October 1908, she was chosen as a beauty into the royal court at the age of 17 in 1851. Favored by Emperor Xianfeng, her position was up graded. Her original name was “little orchid” but she was given a name “Cixi” meaning holly mother by the emperor. In 1856 after she gave birth to a boy, the only son of the emperor she was conferred upon as concubine. In 1861 Xianfeng died in the Summer Resort in Rehe, the present day in Chengde so her six years old son succeeded the throne with the rein title “Tongzhi”, which meant to rule jointly. When Cixi became the new emperor’s mother she began to collaborate with the emperor’s uncle and empress dowager Cian, who was the empress of emperor Xianfeng to kill eight prominent ministers so as to control all politicalempress dowager cixi and military powers. Since then Cixi could do the “Ruling behind the screen” with Cian. The two ladies sat behind the emperor’s throne with a screen in between to tell the emperor what to say and what to do. A few years later Cian died. So Cixi did this practice by herself. In 1874 the young emperor died of small pox. But Emperor Tongzhi had no son to succeed him. Cixi in order not to lose the power, instead of choosing heir prince, she began to support a 3 years old boy, the late emperor’s cousin, her sister’s son to ascend the throne. That was Emperor Guangxu. By doing so she could do the practice of ruling behind the curtain again. After the Bourgeois Reformation Movement supported by Emperor Guangxu failed in 1898 Cixi put the emperor under house arrest in the Hall of Jade Ripples in the Summer Palace and Yingtai Islet. So she started to rule the country openly by herself. It was said that she poisoned Emperor Guangxu to death the previous day before she died.
Cixi had three ambitions: pleasure, power and luxury. According to historical records, six eunuchs took care of her jewelers, shoes and clothes. In 1894 alone, she ordered 135 suits. Her meals were prepared and served with the most sophisticated procedure. Each dinner contained more than 100 dishes and all the table wares were made of gold, jade silver and ivory. Hundreds of people took care of her life and uncountable money was spent on her daily life. She embezzled the money, which was allocated for the building the navy to renovate the Summer Palace for her own purpose. That caused China lost the sea war against Japan in 1894.
During her 48 years ruling, she did the usual practice to prostrate before the imperialist power and put down the people’s rebellion cruelly. The people led an animal’s life. A notorious saying of her goes like this:” Using China’s resources to exchange favor from foreign powers in return”. With this political and diplomatic norm she bartered away the sovereignty of the country, signed many unequal treaties of humiliation with foreign powers, such as “Treaty of 1900” with eight alien powers and “Yili Treaty” with Russia. But she cruelly suppressed the people. For example, the 1898 she put down Bourgeois Reformation Movement in the bud and suppressed the Boxing Movement of 1900 with foreign invaders.
I am the owner of this web site. I am the professional tour guide in Beijing. If you or your friends need private tour guide service when visit Beijing please contact me. With me you will have an interesting cultural tour and different experience in Beijing. Appreciate you can pass my contact to your friends.
Tour guide Richard
Email: wonderfultravel@263.net
Phone: 0086-13501103837

The Forbidden City
The Tiananmen Square
The Summer Palace
The Great Wall
The Ming Tombs
The Lama Temple
The Hutong Tour
The Panda Bear Zoo
The Temple of Heaven
Beijing Olympic Green


 

 

 


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