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The Summer Palace-The Delicate Beauty & Harmonious Pleasure was first built by the Mongolia Khubilakhan and then rebuilt By Emperor Qian Long in 1720 for Empress Dowagers, who loved the summer retreat. The Summer Palace or Yiheyuan (Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, pinyin: Yíhé Yuán; literally “Garden of Nurtured Harmony”) is a palace in Beijing, China. The palace had been razed by a joint Anglo-Fresh attack in 1860 in the Second Opium War. Then the controversial Empress Dowager Ci Xi, who loved the palace and moved national budget that was originally allocated to reform the Imperial Chinese Navy to refurnish it again.

The pleasure garden always delights the visitors. In its compact 70,000 square meters of building space, one finds a variety of palaces, gardens, and other classical-style architectural structures. Built around the shimmering waters of Kunming Lake are delicate pavilions, temples and pagodas, Towers and long corridor, stone bridges across the islands. The palace rises amidst the cool green pine and fragrant blossom flowers & trees. The Summer Palace started out life as the Garden of Clear Ripples (Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, pinyin: Qingyi Yuán) in 1750 (Reign Year 15 of Emperor Qianlong). Artisans reproduced the garden architecture styles of various palaces in China. Kunming Lake was created by extending an existing body of water to imitate the West Lake in Hangzhou. The palace complex suffered two major attacks–during the Anglo-French allied invasion of 1860 (with the Old Summer Palace also ransacked at the same time), and during the Boxer Rebellion, in an attack by the eight allied powers in 1900. The garden survived and was rebuilt in 1886 and 1902. In 1888, it was given the current name, Yihe Yuan. It served as a summer resort for Empress Dowager Cixi, who diverted 30 million taels of silver, said to be originally designated for the Chinese navy (Beiyang Fleet), into the reconstruction and enlargement of the Summer Palace.

We begin our visit from the east main gate and visit a couple of courtyards and the Grand Theater, then along the long corridor to the Cloud Extravagance-the main structure complex. We experience the delicate beauty of this ethereal setting by walking along the lake to the Marble Stone Boat, which signifies the steadiness of the dynasties. We finish our visit by taking a cruise back to the entrance gate and return to the hotel.

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