Trip Planner:   Asia  /  China  /  Beijing  /  Historic Sites  /  Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan)
Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan), Beijing
(4.1/5 based on 700+ 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
  • Interesting to see this a bit out of the way place- we had a hot but lovely day- croweded in July- heard about the marble boats- should have funded the navy but. . . great views of the mountains. 
  • Just as beautiful as the new palaces, just not reconstructed thanks to the French/english kindly burnt it all down. A less popular place but wonderfully peaceful and worth the trip if you're already s...  more »
  • 之前来北京没有来过,这次孩子在北大考试,就顺便逛一下。门票含遗址是25元。里面很大,完全靠步行很累的。看完遗址往西边福海那边逛了一圈,绿化很好,也很干净,但就是没有房子。对体力很有挑战。可惜那天雾霾,如果天气好些就更好了。