Summer Palace, Beijing

4.5 out of 5 stars 309 Reviews

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    Summer Palace
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  • Summer Palace
    Summer Palace
    by loja
  • Summer Palace
    Summer Palace
    by loja
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    Hall of Happiness & Longevity

    by cal6060 Written Oct 30, 2011

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    This is one of the popular places where the Chinese are curious to visit. It was the place where Empress Dowager Cixi stayed when she visited Summer Palace. This hall is gated together with decorative bronze deer, cranes and vases in front of the hall to represent universal peace. Trees and flowers such as magnolia, flowing crab apple and peony planted around the hall means to bring wealth and prestige to the home. Blue Iris Stone is decorated in front of the hall.

    The signboard was written as:

    "Built in 1750 during Emperor Qianlong's reign, this hall originally had two floors. Burned down by the Anglo-French Allied Force in Emperor Xianfeng's reign (1860), it was reconstructed in 1886 to serve as the living quarters for Emperor Dowager Cixi during her stay in the Summer Palace. "

    In Chinese: 乐寿堂 ( Le Shou Tang)

    Hall of Happiness & Longevity, Summer Palace Hall of Happiness & Longevity, Summer Palace Hall of Happiness & Longevity, Summer Palace Hall of Happiness & Longevity, Summer Palace Hall of Happiness & Longevity, Summer Palace
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    Blue Iris Stone

    by cal6060 Written Oct 29, 2011

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    This is the largest stone decorated in Chinese garden can be found in front of the Hall of Happiness & Longevity, Summer Palace. This giant stone has a brief history before it was displayed in Summer Palace.

    The Signboard was written as:

    "This stone was popularly known as the "Stone of the Wastrel". According to historical records, an official of the Ming Dynasty by the name of Mi Wanzhong found this large, dark, and sleek stone, shaped like a fungus at Fangshan (Fang Mountain) in the southwest of Beijing. While having the stone moved to his home at Shaoyuan, he fell into financial difficulties and had to abandon it. Years late, Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty had it moved to this place at much expense and had named it " Blue Iris Stone." This is the largest stone decorated in any Chinese garden."

    In Chinese: 青芝岫 (Qing Zhi Xiu)

    Blue Iris Stone, Summer Palace Blue Iris Stone, Summer Palace Blue Iris Stone, Summer Palace
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    Long Corridor

    by cal6060 Written Oct 27, 2011

    This is a long and beautiful corridor linking some of the pavilion and courtyard along Longevity Hill. And it was built along north side of the Kunming lake.

    The signboard was written as:

    " The Long Corridor was originally built in 1750 and then rebuilt in 1886 after the Anglo-French Allied Forces burned it down in 1860. It starts from Yaoyue (Inviting the Moon) Gate in the east and ends at Shizhang (Stone Old Man) Pavilion in the west-- a distance of 728 meters with 273 sections. Of all the corridors in Chinese classical gardens, this is the longest. On the beams are more than 8,000 colorful paintings " Harmonizing with the Lake", "Autumn Water" and "Clear and Carefree" were built intermittently along the corridor. Taking the Hall of linking all the structures scattered along Longevity Hill into a whole.

    In Chinese: 长廊 (Chang Lang)

    Long Corridor, Beijing Long Corridor, Beijing Long Corridor, Beijing Long Corridor, Beijing
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    Hall of Dispelling Clouds

    by cal6060 Written Oct 27, 2011

    Hall of Dispelling Clouds is built symmetrically with Tower Buddhist incense on the north, and Gate of Dispelling Clouds and Glowing Clouds and Holyland Archway on the south, facing the Kunming lake. Empress Dowager Cixi used to stay here as her bedroom. After she felt sick, she moved away and made this hall as a hall to receive gifts for her birthday. Dragon and bird Statues are displayed in front of the hall.

    The signboard was written as:

    "The original construction here was the Hall of the Great Buddha of the Temple of Immense Gratitude and Longevity in the Garden of Clear Ripples. It was burned down by the Anglo-French Allied Force in 1860 and reconstructed on its original site in 1886 as a place to celebrate Empress Dowager Cixi's birthdays. On display inside the hall are some of the birthday presents offered by princes, dukes, and high-ranking officials."

    In Chinese: 排云殿 (Pai Yun Dian)

    Hall of Dispelling Clouds, Beijing Hall of Dispelling Clouds, Beijing Hall of Dispelling Clouds, Beijing Hall of Dispelling Clouds, Beijing Summer Palace, Beijing
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    Pavilion of Five Location

    by cal6060 Written Oct 27, 2011

    Pavilion of Five Location surrounds the Baoyun Bronze Pavilion. It was built up high and not allowed to enter the building. The unique part of the pavilion is that it comes with a traditional Chinese Pavilion in the middle and and small pavilions with stairway on each side.

    The signboard was written as:

    "This religious building's name, Wu Fang, means five locations: east, south, west, north, and center. According to Buddhist belief, there is a Buddha governing each of the five locations. A portrait of the Buddha would be hung in the niche of the wall when monks chanted in front of the pavilion."

    In Chinese: 五方阁 (Wu Fang Ge)

    Pavilion of Five Location, Beijing Pavilion of Five Location, Beijing Pavilion of Five Location, Beijing
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    Baoyun Bronze Pavilion

    by cal6060 Written Oct 27, 2011

    Baoyun Bronze Pavilion is an unique brown-color building located at Longevity Hill, west side of Tower of Buddhist Incense. This is what you will see when come down from stairway of Tower of Buddhist Incense. Unfortunately, I was not allow to enter the Pavilion because it was closed.

    The signboard was written as:

    "Qing emperors and empresses used to pray and chant scriptures in this pavilion built in 1755. 7.55 meters high, it weighs 207 tons. All its component parts, the beams, pillars, supporting brackets, rafters, tiles, couplings, etc, were cast in bronze by traditional methods: "lost wax technique" and "breaking the mould." The exterior was finished in a greenish-gray color. It is of great scientific value.

    The pavilion is one of the few buildings in Garden that escaped destruction by the Anglo-Forces in 1860. Unfortunately, all of the furnishings were lost. In 1990, the Eight Power Allied Forces again looted the garden and ten of its bronze windows were taken oversea. In 1993 American International Group Inc purchased the windows and sent back to the Summer Palace as a gift to China."

    In Chinese: 宝云阁铜殿 (Bao Yun Ge Tong Dian)

    Baoyun Bronze Pavilion, Beijing Baoyun Bronze Pavilion, Beijing
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    Tower of Buddhist Incense

    by cal6060 Written Oct 27, 2011

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    Tower of Buddhist Incense is the main temple or tower in Summer Palace at the highest point (41 meter-high) of Longevity Hill. I walked up the hill to reach this Tower. The tower is built on a 21 meter- high stone foundation. This is the place where you can see the landscape of Summer Place specially the Kunming Lake. A long corridor is surrounded the Tower where you can rest and enjoy views. The tower itself looked newly renovated with a multi-hand Buddha Statue displayed at the center of the Temple. After visiting the temple, I walked down using the stairway south side stone base. It was a great experience walking down as the views of the lake and buildings surrounding it were amazing.

    The signboard was written as:

    "Originally built during the reign of Emperor Qianlong and burned down by Anglo-French Allied Force in 1860, it was rebuilt in its original style during Emperor Guangxu's reign (1875-1908). The octagonal tower has three storeys with four-layered eaves, altogether 36.44 meters high. Standing on a 20-meter high stone foundation, it constitutes the center of the Summer Palace landscape and serves to accentuate its magnificence. A statue of the thousand-handed Guanyin Buddha, cast in bronze and gilded with gold, stands inside the tower. The statue, five meter high and five tons in weight, was cast during the reign of Emperor Wanli and Ming Dynasty. Set off by the eight imposing pillars that support the tower, it grows with beauty, grandeur and brilliance. Its historical, cultural and artistic value can hardly be overstated."

    In Chinese: 佛香阁 (Fo Xiang Ge)

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    Kunming Lake

    by cal6060 Written Oct 26, 2011

    Kunming Lake is the largest lake or the main scene of the entire Summer Palace. It covers three quarter of the landscape in Summer Palace, that is 2.2 square Kilometers land. You can get a great view of the lake from Tower of Buddhist Incense. You can cruise around the lake to reach different parts of the garden. For example, you can take a boat from Glowing Clouds and Holyland Archway to South Lake Island. I prefer to walk around the lake and walked across the Seventeen-arch Bridge to South Lake Island. This is how you can enjoy the garden and lake views from different angles. From South Lake Island, you can look over to the Longevity Hill.

    In Chinese: 昆明湖 (Kun Ming Hu)

    Kunming Lake, Beijing Kunming Lake, Beijing Kunming Lake, Beijing Kunming Lake, Beijing Kunming Lake, Beijing
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    Clouds Gathering Temple

    by cal6060 Written Oct 26, 2011

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    Clouds Gathering Temple is one of the famous temple in Summer Palace. The temple comes with beautiful facade with small Buddha statues, and green and yellow tiles. An ancient mystery giant Buddha displayed inside the Temple is the purpose for the tourists to pray for good fortunes and health.

    The signboard was written as:

    " Originally built during the reign of Emperor Qianlong, the main hall has a square structure, which was named the "True Source of Fragrant Sea". It was one of the few wooded structures to survive the fire set by the Anglo-French Allied Forces. The original bronze statue of Buddha Pilu, which existed when the Summer Palace was still the Garden of Clear Ripples, stands inside the hall."

    In Chinese: 云会寺 (Yun Hui Si)

    Clouds Gathering Temple, Beijing Clouds Gathering Temple, Beijing Clouds Gathering Temple, Beijing Clouds Gathering Temple, Beijing Clouds Gathering Temple, Beijing
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    Summer Palace: Suzhou Street

    by cal6060 Updated Oct 26, 2011

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    Suzhou Street is my first stop during my visit to Summer Palace. It is located north of Summer Palace, near the North Palace Gate. This is one of the attractions that required to have extra admission charges Y10 or included in your package ticket. This is my favorite place in Summer Palace. I walked down a small stairway to see a street circle around a lake. A street with traditional and ancient shop-lots selling souvenirs, shoes, tea, and etc, and servicing like restaurants, fortune teller, tourist photography services, and etc. The whole place looks like a small version of Suzhou with water canals, lakes, and bridges.

    One day, Emperor Qianlong dressed up as a pilgrim to visit Suzhou and came by a Buddhist nunnery and met a beautiful nun. In order for the Emperor to see the beauty, he built Quanzong Temple for her in Beijing. One day, Emperor Qianlong visited her in the Temple, she was sick due to home sick. So, Emperor Qianlong built Suzhou street that sell Suzhou's products and goods, and with people who speak Suzhou dialect to work in those shop to make her feel like at home.

    In Chinese: 苏州街 (Su Zhou Jie)

    Don't miss this place !!

    Suzhou Street, Beijing Suzhou Street, Beijing Suzhou Street, Beijing Suzhou Street, Beijing Suzhou Street, Beijing
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    The Summer Palace

    by shivan Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    One day after, the sun shone bright upon us (grrrr!!!).

    We went to see the Summer Palace.

    This place is where the Emperor (and the Empress, and thousands servants, probably) came to spend his summer.

    The entrance to the summer palace

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    The Stone

    by shivan Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Behind one of the many doors in the Palace there is the Stone of Fertility. Why it is so called remains a mystery.
    Gateways and step everywhere. Sections and areas in China are well delimited and differentiated.

    the Fertility Stone

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    The Kunming Lake

    by shivan Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Inside the Palace there is also a large lake. Its name is Kunming Lake

    Monuments and beautiful buildings surround it from every side.

    The lake was partially iced for low temperature. At least I saw it in an unusual shape.

    The lake was icy, the sky grey...

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    The Long Gallery

    by shivan Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Northside of the lake, called Kunming Lake, there is an amazing passageway called "The Long Gallery".

    It is 700 meters long and covered with paintings telling stories of battles and mythological events.

    The Long Gallery

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    A brief rest

    by shivan Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Long Gallery ends in a square.

    The beautiful gate is totally useless, maybe it has some sort of meaning.

    On the left side you see that guy from Milan I insulted when he made me drink the boiled-fish tea in Shenzhen (see my related page).

    the guy from Milan (on the left)

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