The original Summer Palace was located southeast of the current Summer Palace and just north of Peking University's campus. Construction began in the early Qing dynasty (1709) and took nearly 150 years to complete.
It was completely looted and destroyed in 1860 by British and French troops in a 3 day pillaging party during the Opium War. All that remains is a few columns and and scattered piles of marble rubble.
Fondest memory: Since the Summer Palace was rebuilt at its present location overlooking Kunming Lake, the Chinese have been wondering what should be added to the original site to make it more attractive as a tourist destination.
They rebuilt the maze and also constructed a nearby paintball range. However when a group of foreign tourists from 8 countries decided to gather together to re-enact the invasion of Beijing in 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion, local authorities forced the paintball range to move to the suburbs of Changping county.
The maze is still there, and a southern reproduction of the labyrinth replica can now also be found in Zhuhai, Guangdong province.
Yuan Ming Park
Another massive royal park, but was ruined in Qing Dynasty.
There's a long story behine this ruin which was happened in the most black age of China. If you're from Europe/US, I hope you won't be proud of the outrage what your ancestor did for China!!
Yuan-Ming-Yuan (Yuanming Garden). After walking through the Western Palace, we decided to follow the map (showned in the museum) to look for the Chinese style wooden build palace. We climb over the forbidden signboard, walked up a hill, and here is what we found.... a dead forest without tourist... OH! We lost our way back!
Fondest memory: Our shoes were full of mud, pants sticked with dried grass and sticks, damn tired!!! Finally, we found our way back to the Western Palace. Perhaps nobody will ever think that 3 stupid girls will try to search for the wooden palace, it was blocked from tourist area! Well... the feeling of being 'adventurist' was funny!
Yuan-Ming-Yuan (Old Summer Palace). This beauty and delux French designed palace was built in 1707, during the war in 1860, British and French destroyed the palace and robbed most of the treasures. I was sitting on part of the left behind palace.
Fondest memory: The ruins of Yuan-Ming-Yuan reminded me the horror of war... The king spent so much money & manpower to build this luxury palace, but we were totally undeveloped and uneducated to defend our country! So sad...
Favorite thing: Yuanming Garden lies on the northwestern outskirts of the city, north of Beijing University and only 500m from the Summer Palace. It was built during the Qing Dynasty over a period of 150 years and included three gardens: Yuanming Yuan, Changchun Yuan and Qichun Yuan. They were laid out seperately, yet in a way so that they complement each other harmoniously. The area covered about 340 hectares. The peaks of the Western hills formed the background; the hills and lakes were man-made. Countless springs flowed, feeding small canals winding their way through lovely valleys. White marble bridges spanned the water here and there. +Palaces stood amidst emerald green woods; so did halls, pavilions and temples. Some of them linked by covered walkways.
Favorite thing: I don't kmow if there are any people know 'Yuanminyuan' and the history.In 1860,the time when the Qing Empire was at it's weakest point,Beijing was takend by the Britain and Franch Army.It's a great pity that the armies set a fire to the 'Yuanminyuan',which was even bigger and more magnificent than the 'Summer Palace'.The Chinese and European style buildings died out in the fire,leaving only ruins today.