Situated in the Haidian District northwest of Beijing City, the Summer Palace is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value.
Between 1750 and 1764 the Qing Emperor Qianlong created the Garden of Clear Ripples (Summer Palace), extending the area of the lake and carrying out other improvements based on the hill and its landscape. During the Second Opium War (1856-60) the garden and its buildings were destroyed by the allied forces. Between 1886 and 1895 it was reconstructed by Emperor Guangxu and renamed the Summer Palace, for use by Empress Dowager Cixi. It was damaged in 1900 by the international expeditionary force during the suppression of the Boxer Rising and restored two years later.
Being the the largest and best-preserved imperial garden in China, it greatly influences Chinese horticulture and landscape with its famous natural views and cultural interests. The Summer Palace epitomizes the philosophy and practice of Chinese garden design, it has been recognized as ‘The Museum of Royal Gardens’.
The Summer Palace became a public park in 1924 and has continued as such to the present day. I have been to the Summer Palace for hundreds of times, it presents different views in different seasons. Now let’s enjoy some photos, showing you the beautiful snow scenery at Summer Palace (photos taken on Feb. 25, 2013).