the Summer Palace


The history of Summer Palace extends as far back as 800 years. In 115 B.C, when the Jin Dynasty made Beijing–then called Yanjing– its capital, it built an imperial palace that was then referred to as the Golden Hill Palace. The structure still remains on the present site of what residents and tourists both recognize as the Summer Palace of Beijing.In 1750, Emperor Qianlong paid 4.48 million taels of silver, an equivalent of 140,000 kilograms, to invest in building the Garden of Clear Ripples. After a period of fifteen years, however, Emperor Qianlong made a decision to change the name of the hill to Longevity Hill in order to celebrate his mother’s birthday. He also named the nearby lake, Lake Kunming , because he wanted to follow the example of former Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty 156BC-87BC, who reigned from 140B.C to 87B.C. In these times, he also trained his army in the present day area of Xidan on the grounds of what many historians and tourists now know as Kunming Pool, 206BC-AD220.In the year 1900, Summer Palace was invaded and ravaged by allied opposition forces who invaded China around this time. Much of the damage, however, was repaired and the structure was close to being fully recovered by 1902. Summer Palace subsequently became the residence of the Dowager Empress Cixi who spent a great deal of funding developing and beautifying the scenery and the surrounding areas of the palace.With great reflections and a beautiful scenery of endless tales, Summer Palace remains to be one of the most widely visited places in Beijing. It is likely to grow in popularity as a scenic spot as the next decade brings more and more travelers into Beijing for both sight seeing and a cultural appreciation for historic landmarks.