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Kunming Lake, Beijing

4.5
#7 of 57 in Nature in Beijing
Water Body Nature / Park
Kunming Lake is the central lake on the grounds of the Summer Palace in Beijing, China. Together with the Longevity Hill, Kunming Lake forms the key landscape features of the Summer Palace gardens.With an area of 2.2km2, Kunming Lake covers approximately three quarters of the Summer Palace grounds. It is quite shallow, with an average depth of only 1.5m.HistoryKunming Lake is a man-made lake. Its predecessors were called Wengshan (Jar Hill) Pond and Xihu Lake. They were reservoirs which had been used as sources of water both for the city and irrigation of fields over a period of 3,500 years. Guo Shoujing, a famous astronomer and engineer in his time, developed it into a reservoir for the capital of the Yuan Dynasty in 1291. The conversion of the area into an imperial garden was commissioned by the Qianlong Emperor with the work being carried out between 1750 and 1764. In the course of creating the gardens, the lake area was extended by a workforce of almost 10,000 laborers.In the year 1990 and 1991, the Beijing Municipal Government undertook the first dredging of the lake in 240 years. A total of 652600m3 of sludge were removed in the work. 205 Japanese bombs dropped during the Sino-Japanese War were also found.
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76 reviews
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  • Lots of history around the lake with old palaces and imperial retreats. You can rent boats to sail around the lake or just go for a long walk.  more »
  • The Chinese appreciate the beauty of nature, but if not, create it themselves. This is clearly seen on lake Kunming. Hard to guess that the lake is artificial, so it looks "natural".The construction o...  more »
  • I have been to Beijing many times on business and made many visits to the Summer Palace and Kunming Lake. In March 2017 I went again. Kunming Lake is a really peaceful and relaxing place to walk for a...  more »

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