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History of Yuanmingyuan

Yuanmingyuan Index | Architecture | History
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The construction of the park buildings started in the 18th year of Emperor Kangxi in Qing Dynasty (1709A.D.), went through six emperors and finally finished building of Yuanmingyuan Park, Chang Chun Garden, and Wan Chun Garden, after more than 150 years. These three gardens are often referred to as a joint name: The Yuanmingyuan Park.

Old Summer Palace or Yuanmingyuan (Garden of perfect Brightness) failed to escape the destruction inflicted on China by the Western powers. In October 1860, the Anglo-French forces sacked and looted Yuanmingyuan and burned it to the ground. From then on, the garden suffered continual damage at the hands of the warlords, bandits, and the Eight-Power Allied Forces. Its former beauty and glory no more, the entire garden lay in clusters of ruins and debris. In hushed silence it bore witness to the atrocities of the Western powers and the corruption and incompetence of the Qing rulers, and admonished the Chinese people never to forget the tragedy.

After the birth of the People's Republic, the Chinese government has attached great importance to the preservation of the ruins. The municipal governments have placed Yuanmingyuan on a list of key cultural sites under special protection. Most of the building foundations have been unearthed, and the remains of over a dozen scenic rock formations duly preserved. The existing carved marble masonry of the European Palaces has been pieced together to become a tourist attraction in its own right.

In November 1979, the Yuanmingyuan History Exhibition Center was formally inaugurated, to the delight of visitors from at home and abroad. By 1997 the center had received more than 9.8 million visitors.

The eastern half of the garden has gradually taken shape, where a number of scenic areas are open to tourists, such as the fuhai Scenic Area, the eastern part of Qichunyuan, and the European Palaces of Changchunyuan. The park has also become the venue for a series of annual festivals. Including the Spring Outing Festival, the Lotus Flower Festival, and the Chrysanthemum Festival.

It is because there is an unredeemed and cruel history about the Yuanmingyuan Park, today, more and more tourists from all over the world come here to pay a visit. No matter what kind of feeling you have visiting the Yuanmingyuan Park, pondering the past, cherishing the memory in mind, or with curiosity, it is quite special and different from visiting other scenery.

Chinatravelkey can add Yuanmingyuan on the Following Beijing Tour Routes

BH-1. 3 nights 4 days Beijing tour BH-2. 4 nights 5 days Beijing tour
BH-3. 5 nights 6 days Beijing tour BH-4. 6 nights 7 days Beijing tour
BK-1. 2 days Beijing tour BK-2. 3 days Beijing tour
BK-3. 4 days Beijing tour BK-4. 5 days Beijing tour
BK-5. 6 days Beijing tour BK-6. 7 days Beijing tour
BX-1. Xingang Beijing 2 days (no hotel) BX-2. Xingang Beijing 2 days tour
BX-3. Xingang Beijing 4 days tour BJXA-3. Beijing Xian 4 days tour
BJCD-2. Beijing Chengde 6 days tour BJGL-1. Beijing Guilin Tour
BJSH-1. 5 days Beijing Shanghai Tour BJSH-2. 6 days Beijing Shanghai Tour
BJSH-3. Beijing Shanghai Suzhou Tour BJSH-4. 9 Days Beijing Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Tour
BJLH-1. Beijing Lhasa Tour BJXA-3. Beijing Xian 4 days tour
BJXA-5. Beijing Xian 9 days tour BJXA-4. Beijing Xian 7 days tour

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