Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan), Beijing

4.1
#8 of 163 in Parks in Beijing
Favorite summer retreat for Qing emperors until its systematic destruction by Anglo-French troops in 1860, Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan) serves as a reminder of the ruthlessness of European gunboat diplomacy. Originally built in the 12th century, this partially restored palace spans 350 hectares (864 acres), expanded in the 18th and early 19th centuries with the help of two Italian Jesuits. Take a boat ride to explore lotus ponds, or stroll along the Jiuzhou lakefront to ponder intricately carved stone ruins and hundreds of scenic spots. Ascend the throne for observing waterworks and the maze of this "Versailles of the East," looted and thoroughly destroyed by the West. The first ever Pekinese dog in the UK, kidnapped by Lord Elgin from this spot as a gift to Queen Victoria, started a real vogue among British elites of the time. Arrange your visit to Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan) and discover more family-friendly attractions in Beijing using our Beijing holiday planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
796 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • August 15, 2017
    Quite a lovely spot with lake, pagodas, covered walkways all decorated with ornate paintings. Dragon boat to cross the lake was fun!  more »
  • August 10, 2017
    Qi hot like fire too high 燒! All Yi site does not return the original to China is the cause of any Christian item stats, only a strong China can respect 獲 stub tags! 養 China love country heart!
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  • August 7, 2017
    Interesting place, you can be like in the middle of these picturesque ruins. Not sure that it's the originals, but impressions does not spoil.
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