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Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan), Beijing

(4.1/5 based on 750+ reviews on the web)
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
  • Yuanmingyuan covers a large area and was razed and plundered by British and French forces. Buy the package ticket so you can enter the Western style garden. The stone portions of the garden are what r...  more »
  • 看到課本上的真實場景~讓我覺得很不可思議,了解當時的歷史背景,不再只是乾看課本,如果還有機會會再次拜訪這遺跡  more »
  • Also known as ruins of Yuanmingyuan, this was formally an Imperial Garden, now mostly in ruins. It was destroyed by the Anglo-French Allied Forces in 1860. Treasures were plundered and displayed in th...  more »