Yuanmingyuan - Old Summer Palace, Beijing

4 out of 5 stars 25 Reviews

Qinghuan West Road, Haidian

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  • Tantan Dangdang, Yuanmingyuan Park
    Tantan Dangdang, Yuanmingyuan Park
    by cal6060
  • Tantan Dangdang, Yuanmingyuan Park
    Tantan Dangdang, Yuanmingyuan Park
    by cal6060
  • Tantan Dangdang, Yuanmingyuan Park
    Tantan Dangdang, Yuanmingyuan Park
    by cal6060
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    2014 Temple Fairs in Beijing

    by ampraxu1 Written Jan 22, 2014

    The 5th Annual Royal Temple Fair

    Yuanmingyuan will once again play host to a temple fair to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The fair will take place between January 31 and February 6.

    Lots of events and activities including dances, and a Black Swan photo contest will go on throughout the week. There will also be an ice rink and about 3,000 lanterns.

    Date: Jan. 31 – Feb. 6, 2014

    Venue: Yuanmingyuan

    Opening Hours: 07:00-19:30

    Tel: 86 10 6262 8501

    Add: 28 Qinghua West Road, Haidian District, Beijing

    北京市海淀区清华西路28号

    Getting there: take Subway Line 4 and get off at Yuanmingyuan (圆明园) Station.

    Temple Fair at Ditan Park (Altar of Earth Park)

    Ditan Park is not only famous for its Altar of Earth, but also its temple fair which is participated in mostly by the locals. At the temple fair you will have plenty to see.

    See if you can spot the Dai people's 'peacock dance' amongst a host of dances from all over China. You'll be able to see exhibitions that cover the life and customs of Beijingers through the centuries as well as the different ways that Spring Festival is now celebrated all over the world. Pick up some (supposedly) antique Chinese handicrafts from stalls and if you get there for 10am glimpse a re-enactment of the imperial family's traditional prayers for good harvests originally held here in the summer months.

    When you get hungry, you can pick up dry-fried beans, jiaoquan (fried dough sticks that taste great dipped into doujiang – thick soy milk) and New Year cakes (a kind of glutinous rice cake).

    Date: Thursday, January 30 – Thursday, February 6

    Admission: 10 RMB

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    Yuanmingyuan Park

    by cal6060 Updated Aug 2, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Yuanmingyuan Park is another historical imperial garden like Summer Palace. This Park is so huge that consists of three main sections, Qichunyuan, Yuanmingyuan, and Changchunyuan for visitors at this point of time. In fact, the park is more than these three sections, a lot of the places are still under restoration. Basically, most of the visitors are looking forward to see the Xiyanglou area (European Building area). None of the buildings, pavilions, bridges from the ancient Qing Dynasty remains. Only ruins pieces of European Buildings and Migong (Maze Pavilion) remain there.

    During my visit, I found it confusing to locate myself using the signboard in the park because it was too big. The park was not very pleasant to to walk around because it was dusty and polluted as many sites were under constructions. Sometimes, dirty truck with smoke were around pedestrians on the side walk.

    The park has beautiful garden and lake scenery with lotus flowers. You could hire a boat to cruise around the lake, and move around to see different sites. I have included maps that help you to navigate yourself in the park. Check them out in my travelogue!!

    The signboard was written as:

    " The Yuanmingyuan Ruins Park is in northwest Beijing. Being close to summer Palace, it is a theme park of special significance, built on the ruins of famous Yuanmingyuan imperial garden.
    Historically, the imperial garden consisted of three gardens: Yuanmingyuan, Changchunyuan and Qichunyuan. Covering 350 hectares of land, Yuanmingyuan had nearly 100 famous scenic clusters. Beginning in 1707 (the 46 year of the reign of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty), this imperial garden took over 150 years to built, spanning over five Qing emperors; Yongzheng, Qianlong, Jiaqing, Daoguang and Xianfeng. While countless skillful craftsmen were mobilized, hundreds of millions taels of Silver were spent. The garden was famous around the world for its vast area, fine landscaping art, elegant architectural style and rich cultural collection. When Europeans got to know the garden, they praised it as a garden of gardens and a model of world gardens. Unfortunately, this famous garden was burnt to the ground in October 1860 by the Anglo-French allied force, leaving a heartbreaking chapter in the history of China.
    After new China was founded, the party and government paid great attention to protect the ruins of the imperial garden. They designated the ruins as a park land and a major cultural site under the protection of the central government. Thanks to years of renovations and repairs, a ruins park has begun taking shape. With most landscaping being restored, the park now represents southern China scenery, noted for hills and water bodies covered in mists. Tens of thousands of trees in the park are fresh and green, and seasonal flowers are as brilliant as the morning glow. While a few reconstructed garden architectures have suumed their past splendor, some important ruins have been protected and repaired. Today, these grand ruins clusters represented by Xiyanglou (European Buildings), are enlightening people on their sad history. "

    Admission: Y25

    Yuanmingyuan Park, Beijing Yuanmingyuan Park, Beijing Yuanmingyuan Park, Beijing Yuanmingyuan Park, Beijing Yuanmingyuan Park, Beijing
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    Tantan Dangdang

    by cal6060 Written Nov 24, 2011

    Tantan Dandang is one of the historical site in Yuanmingyuan, further west. I found it very interesting as the ancient fish pond still remains. It was a very intelligent way to build such pond with details. This site was not restored yet during my visit. I believe within few years after restoration, this could be one of the main attractions in Yuanmingyuan.

    The signboard was written as:

    " One of the 40 sights of Yuanmingyuan, this piece was also a garden in garden built on the west bank of the Back Lake in the late years of the reign of Emperor Kangxi. Its layout was similar to that of Yuguan Yuyue, which was one of the 18 sights of the West Lake in Hangzhou. As there were thousands of goldfish in the pond, the palace was for the emperor to feed and admire goldfish and was commonly called the "Goldfish Pond".
    In the course of excavating the ruins of Tantan Dangdang in 2004, the original site of ancient buildings was discovered in particular the rectangular stone slabs around the Goldfish Pond , the numerous are balanced rocks and the deep goldfish hideout were all quite impressive. "

    Don't miss..

    In Chinese: 坦坦荡荡 (Tan Tan Dang Dang)

    Tantan Dangdang, Yuanmingyuan Park Tantan Dangdang, Yuanmingyuan Park Tantan Dangdang, Yuanmingyuan Park Tantan Dangdang, Yuanmingyuan Park Tantan Dangdang, Yuanmingyuan Park
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    Huanghuazhen (Huanghua Formation)

    by cal6060 Written Nov 23, 2011

    Huanhuanzhen is also called 迷宫,Mi gong in mandarin. It means yellow flower maze. This amazing site has been restored in its original look. This is my favorite site in Yuanmingyuan. It was totally surprised to me as I did not read about this site before I came. Basically, It is a maze that has a European style pavilion in the middle of the maze. It was not easy to reach the pavilion through the maze. I tries several ways to get in there with the helps of other visitors who already reached the pavilion.

    The signboard was written as:

    " To the north of the Xieqiqi building was a garden modeled on a European maze. The phalanx of Huanghua Formation was a rectangle, with gates on the four sites. At the center of the formation was an octagonal European Pavilion sitting on a high round foundation, meaning the sky was round and the earth was square. The phalanx was about 89 meters long from south to north and about 59 meters wide from east to west. The phalanx wall was over 1,600 meters long and about 1.2 meters high. Historical records indicate that on the evening of the Moon Festival each year in its heydays, the emperor would hold a lantern evening.

    The phalanx wall and the European pavilion were restored to their original shapes at the former sites respectively in 1987 and 1989. "

    In Chinese: 黄花阵 (Wang Hua Zhen)

    Huanghuazhen, Yuanmingyuan Park Huanghuazhen, Yuanmingyuan Park Huanghuazhen, Yuanmingyuan Park Huanghuazhen, Yuanmingyuan Park Huanghuazhen, Yuanmingyuan Park
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    Xiyanglou Area (European Buildings)

    by cal6060 Written Nov 22, 2011

    Xiyanglou is the reason most of people come to see in Yuanmingyuan Park. It is located north of Changchunyuan. This ruins site gave people the imagination the pride ancient European architectural buildings were built in Imperial Garden. You can see columns, walls, door decorative and etc remain in this protected site.

    The signboard was written as:

    " In the northern part of Changchunyuan once stood a European-style garden, commonly called Xiyanglou (European Buildings). The 70,000 square meter garden had over 10 buildings and courtyards, respectively called Xieqiqi, Xianfaquao, Huanghuanzhen, Yangguelong, Fangwaiguan, Haiyantang, Yuanyingguan, Dashuifa, Guanshuifa, Xianfashan and Xianfahua. Planning began in 1747 (the 12th year of the reign of Emperor Qianlong) and construction was largely completed in 1759 (the 24th year of the reign of Emperor Qianlong). It was designed under guidance of Italian painter Giuseppe Castiglione and French missionary Michel Benoist, and was built by Chinese craftsmen. The architectural style was Baroque and the landscaping was Le Notre. Its landscaping and architectural decorations also embodied lots of traditional Chinese techniques. In its heydays of Xiyanglou, the Qing imperial court made a set of copper plates, comprising 20 elevation perspective architectural drawings. Drawn by Yi Lantai, an imperial court painter from the Man ethic group, these copper plates were carved by craftsmen of the Imperial Workshop.
    In 1860 when the allied forces of British and France burnt Yuanmingyuan to ruins, most of these European-style halls and pavilions partially survived because they had mainly built with stone materials. They continued to stay there for over a century, reminding people of the national humiliation. "

    In Chinese: 西洋楼 (Xi Yang Lou)

    Xiyanglou Area (European Buildings), Yuanmingyuan Xiyanglou Area (European Buildings), Yuanmingyuan Xiyanglou Area (European Buildings), Yuanmingyuan Xiyanglou Area (European Buildings), Yuanmingyuan Xiyanglou Area (European Buildings), Yuanmingyuan
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    Haiyue Kaijin

    by cal6060 Written Nov 22, 2011

    I lost my way to seek for the ruins of European Buildings. I passed by a lake with beautiful lotus plants and a long broken bridge that supposed to link to a small island. On the side of the bridge, there is a stone carving " Haiyue Kaijin" , I thought this was described in Chinese Poem about the beauty of this area. After reading the description, in fact there was a building complex named " Haiyue Kaijin" in that small island. Anyway, I browsed the Yuanmingyuan map, I could imagine how the building looked like.

    The signboard was written as:

    " Haiyue Kaijin (The Oceans and mountains opening their robes) is located upon a round island right in the middle of the lake north to Siyong Studio. Embraced by water in all directions, it is laid up with white stones along the periphery and enclosed by white marble rails. The main building on the island is built upon a round two-story altar. The bottom part of the altar is 80 meters in diameter and the upper up to 70 meters. Four docks can be found in the east, west, south, and north of the bottom part of the altar Resplendent and magnificent the whole building complex looks like a mirage. "

    In Chinese: 海岳开禁 (Hai Yue Kai Jin)

    Haiyue Kaijin, Yuanmingyuan Park Haiyue Kaijin, Yuanmingyuan Park Haiyue Kaijin, Yuanmingyuan Park Haiyue Kaijin, Yuanmingyuan Park
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    Zhengjue Temple

    by cal6060 Written Nov 22, 2011

    This newly restored ancient monastery of Tibetan Buddhism was built in 1773 during Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). This is the only surviving ancient architectural complex in Yuanmingyuan Park. The whole complex has 14,300 square meters, which 3,649 squares meters of the land is for buildings.

    I walked through a small path road on the west side of Qichunyuan to reach this temple. First, I was very excited to see the only remains buildings complex in Yuanmingyuan. From the outside, it still looks ancient with its gates and walls, and old roofs structures. Once I entered the complex, I totally turned off by the smell of newly painted wall. They have beautiful building structures though. Currently, they have a exhibition for " The Miracle of Nirvana".

    In Chinese: 正觉寺 (Zheng Jue Si)

    Zhengjue Temple, Yuanmingyuan Park Zhengjue Temple, Yuanmingyuan Park Zhengjue Temple, Yuanmingyuan Park Zhengjue Temple, Yuanmingyuan Park Zhengjue Temple, Yuanmingyuan Park
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    Canqiao (Ruined Bridge)

    by cal6060 Written Nov 22, 2011

    There are many ruined bridges in Yuanmingyuan Park. This one near the Jianbi Pavilion is an example of how ruined bridges look like.

    The signboard was written as:

    " In its heydays, Yuanmingyuan had nearly 200 bridges. This bridge was a stone arch bridge over a stream outside the west palace of the Fuchun Hall. What has been left over is a single arch, the only preserved old stone bridge after Yuanmingyuan was destroyed. "

    In Chinese: 残桥 (Can Qiao)

    Canqiao (Ruined Bridge), Yuanmingyuan Park Canqiao (Ruined Bridge), Yuanmingyuan Park Canqiao (Ruined Bridge), Yuanmingyuan Park
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    Jianbi Pavilion

    by cal6060 Written Nov 22, 2011

    Jianbi Pavilion was the first place I visited, located near the South Gate of Qichunyuan. This pavilion displayed some historical pictures and information regard Yuanmingyuan. Since most of the buildings, pavilions, and bridges had been ruined, only pictures can show them how they look like in the ancient imperial period.

    I believe this building was restored by the current government administration as it looks new. This pavilion is built on a small bay surrounded by lake with trees, boats, and bridges.

    In Chinese: 鉴碧亭 (Jian Bi Ting)

    Jianbi  Pavilion, Yuanmingyuan Park Jianbi  Pavilion, Yuanmingyuan Park Yuanmingyuan Park, Beijing Yuanmingyuan Park, Beijing
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    The Old Summer Palace Tea House & Show

    by rabbit06 Updated Jan 22, 2010

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    This must have been great in it's day but tragically is in ruin's, although still a very good place to have a look around and understand why this has happened! And aftrewards enjoy traditional Chinese tea and snack's with a little stage show which is really very good!

    This could hurt? Man of many faces! Beautiful girl! Now that's clever! Next she put's a person inside..unbeleivable!!!!
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    old summer palace

    by bebejepang Written Nov 23, 2008

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    This park is big, but I think it is just a history. Not beautiful and quite expensive for the place like that.... I just want to say that this is not a tourist trap, but just unvaluable visit.

    Entrance ticket 10 yuan (park), + 10 yuan for ruin area.

    yuanmingyuan

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    Yuanmingyuan Ruins Park (Old Summer Palace)

    by SLLiew Written Sep 23, 2008

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    Yuanmingyuan is old Summer Palace that was looted and burnt by the Anglo-French army.

    There was only stone bridge left standing and the ruins of Western style buildings. The area is huge with many lakes, small hills and depicted in Chinese paintings with many poetic names. There has been a debate whether to rebuilt these famous gardens or leave them in ruins as they are.

    Walking is far and there is an electric tram optional for a ticket if you want to cut down on your walking. There is a indoor documentary show depicting the original splendour of these gardens and how they were destroyed by foreign legions.

    In front of the main admission door is a replica of the Chinese zodiac animals that were priceless and stolen by Anglo-French forces. Only a few of the animal heads have been found so far.

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    THE GARDEN OF PERFECTION AND LIGHT

    by ancient_traveler Updated Mar 4, 2008

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    The Old Summer Palace which is also known as the Ruins of the Yuanmingyuan (the Garden of Perfection and Light), located on the northwestern outskirts of Beijing, is one of the five famous gardens built during Qing Dynasty. Generally speaking, the Old Summer Palace consists of three parts - Yuanmingyuan, Wanchunyuan (the Garden of Blossoming Spring) and Changchunyuan (the Garden of Eternal Spring). These three gardens are often referred to as one common name: Yuanmingyuan.

    Some western-style buildings were constructed in the northeastern corner of the garden. Unfortunately, when the anglo- French forces invaded Beijing in 1860, the whole grounds were set on fire. In 1900, Yuanmingyuan was again plundered by the Allied Forces of the Eight Powers Warlord and bandits stole or destroyed what was left.The remains of the once-grand marble structures are scattered about the grounds for all to see, appering undisturbed for the past 100 years.

    The Ruins of Western- style Buildings The Ten Thousand  Flower Labyrinth, 1999
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    Yuan Ming Yuan

    by yangzhigong Written Aug 1, 2007

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    It is said that Yuan Ming Yuan palace is the most beautiful palace of the world, but it was burned by Eight-Power Allied Forces in later 19th's. I think peoples from these eight countries should go there to see what their fathers and grandphas done in there, they also do the same thing on Iraq nowadays!

    Da Shu Fa

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    Yuanmingyuan

    by limledi Updated Dec 20, 2006

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    Yuanmingyuan was built for the recreation of Chinese emperors. It is the Old Summer Palace, once the most luxurious imperial garden in the Qing Dynasty, now becomes a historical ruin. Yuanmingyuan was also called the 'garden of gardens' or the 'Versailles of the East' in Europe during that era. Furthermore, Yuanmingyuan was also an imperial museum that collected a large number of books, treasures and cultural artifacts. Unfortunately, this place was destroyed by the attacking French armies resulting to the destruction. It's disheartening to see what used to be a beautiful place now reduced to ruins. Such a waste.

    Yuanmingyuan Yuanmingyuan Yuanmingyuan Yuanmingyuan Yuanmingyuan
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