China Travel Tips

Reflections on Travel in China

Monday, March 29, 2010

Old Summer Palace in Beijing

There is one site in Beijing that is seldom visited but is historically interesting. That is the Old Summer Palace built during the 12th Century by Emperor Qianlong which was later destroyed by invading British and French during the Opium War of 1860. The Old Summer Palace was built in the French Style and held many artifacts which were taken during the war. This is all that remains of the building but some gardens still exist although the whole complex was abandoned. Empress Dowager Cixi began rebuilding the new Summer Palace in 1888 with money that was ear marked for the construction of a modern navy. In 1900 foreign troops once again during the Boxer Rebellion tried to burn it down. Some renovations were made a few years later and then a major renovation was done after the 1949 revolution and can be seen as it is today on Kunming Lake. The Old Summer Palace is worth a walk through since it is near the newer Summer Palace and Beijing University. Referred to as Yuanming Yuan (Perfection and Brightness Garden) the Great Fountain Ruins pictured above is the best preserved relic in the palace grounds and definitely a part of modern history of Beijing and China. As A China Tour Operator doing Tours to China only for the past 25 years, I will be more than happy to do a custom private tour just for you or any Group that comes to me with special interests. Check out my web site at

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