After touring the famous sights of Beijing, I found China's Summer Palace the most beautiful and healthy place, nestled by a lake, river, hills, and forest. Explore its royal halls, gardens, and temple with me.
Built around 1750 by Emperor Qianlong, the Summer Imperial Palace in Beijing is one of the largest and most beautifully landscaped estates and architectural complexes in China and one of the most elaborate examples of classical Chinese gardens.
The Blue Iris Stone. The gardens and courtyards of the Summer Palace are decorated with many unusual rock formations brought to the Palace from all over China. This bluish, glossy stone is the largest in any Chinese garden; it measures about 8 metres long by 2 metres high. It sits on the courtyard of the Hall of Happiness and Longevity.
The Battle of Zhuxian County. This painting in the Long Corridor shows a scene from a decisive battle in the war between the Jin and the Song Dynasties. In the Battle of Zhuxian County, the Song army was nearly beaten, but the courage of its generals changed a near defeat into a victory.
Two of the three sections of the richly decorated “Archway of Gorgeous Clouds and Jade Eaves”. It is located by the lake and it was used as a gateway to the gardens and to the Tower of Buddhist Fragrance.
The Empress Dowager Ci Xi's Summer Palace was always a royal garden, but it became the summer residence of the Emperor and the royal family during the Qing Dynasty. Built by Quianlong from 1749 to 1764, the Summer Palace is mainly a park, much of which is taken up by Kunming Lake (James Gormley, June 2001).
Longevity Hill, Summer Palace, Beijing. The main building on the center right is the Tower of Buddhist Fragrance. At the top of the hill is The Temple of the Sea of Wisdom. On the left center is The Marble Boat.
The Marble Boat. The base of the lakeside pavilion was built with marble-looking stone. The superstructure is wood painted to simulate marble and decorated with mirrors and paintings. Obviously, the boat cannot float; it was used by Empress Cixi for lakeside dinning and receptions.