Old Summer Palace
圆明园 The gardens of the Old Summer Palace, which are about the same size as Central Park in New York, date back to the 12th century. The interesting part of the history begins with Emperor Qianlong who was inspired by French and Italian palaces and had ten palaces of his own designed and built in rococo style in the gardens. Between 1747-1759, under the direction of Italian Jesuit Guiseppe Castiglione palaces modeled to those in Europe were built and decorated with furniture imported from Europe. There were even mazes in the garden which you can still walk through today (they have been restored).
When the British and French were unhappy with the Chinese government's refusal to accept opium in return for silk, tea and other goods, the Europeans destroyed the ten palaces which were built in their image. The destruction occurred over three days in 1860 during the Second Opium War (1860-1862). The troops burned all the wood structures and did as much damage to the marble facades as they could.
Average time for this activity (in hrs):
Hours: 7:00am until 7:30pm with last admission at 5:30pm
Longitude: 40.009078; Latitude: 116.295433. Satellite view does not match the Map view due to Google's rendering.
Customized with highlights by The China Guide
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