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BeiJing the Summer Palace

• Address: 19 Xinjiangongmen Rd, Haidian Qu, China, 100000
• Website: http://www.summerpalace-china.com/en/
• Opening Time: April 1st – October 31st: 8:30 – 17:00
• Opening Time: November 1st – March 31st:9:00 – 16:00
• Height: 60 m
Architectural style: Chinese architecture
• Phone: +86 10 6288 1144
• Electric boat:80RMB per hour(four seats )/120RMBPer hour(six seats) with refundable deposit
• Pedalist boat:60RMB per hour (four seats)/80RMB per hour (six seats) with refundable deposit
• the audio guide:40 RMB with a 50 RMB refundable deposit(available in 19 languages )

Date Hours Last entry
April 1st-October 31st 6:30-20:00 18:00
National day 6:00-20:00 18:00
November 1st-March 31st 7:00-19:00 17:00
Date Adults Students with ID
April 1st-October 31st 30RMB 15RMB
November 1st-March 31st 20RMB 10RMB

The Summer Palace landscape, dominated mainly by Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake, covers an area of 3.08 square kilometers, three quarters of which is under water. Its 70,000 square meters of building space features a variety of palaces, gardens and other ancient-style architectural structures. Well known for its large and priceless collection of cultural relics, it was among the first group of historical and cultural heritage sites in China to be placed under special state protection.

The Summer Palace, originally named Qingyi Yuan or the Garden of Clear Ripples, was first constructed in 1750. It was razed to the ground by the Anglo-French Allied Forces in 1860. The Government of the Qing Dynasty started to rebuild it in 1886 with funds that it had misappropriated from the Imperial Navy and other sources. Renamed two years later as Yihe Yuan or the Garden of Health and Harmony, it was supposed to serve as a summer resort for the Empress Dowager Cixi. Known also as the Summer Palace, it was ravaged by the Allied Forces of the Eight Powers that invaded China in 1900. The damage was repaired in 1902. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the Summer Palace has undergone several major renovations. Its major attractions such as the Four Great Regions, Suzhou Street, the Pavilion of Bright Scenery, the Hall of Serenity, the Wenchang Galleries and the Plowing and Weaving Scenery Area have been successively restored.

The Summer Palace is a monument to classical Chinese architecture, in terms of both garden design and construction. Borrowing scenes from surrounding landscapes, it radiates not only the grandeur of an imperial garden but also the beauty of nature in a seamless combination that best illustrates the guiding principle of traditional Chinese garden design: “The works of men should match the works of Heaven”. In December 1998, UNESCO included the Summer Palace on its World Heritage List with the following comments: 1) The Summer Palace in Beijing is an outstanding expression of the creative art of Chinese landscape garden design, incorporating the works of humankind and nature in a harmonious whole; 2) The Summer Palace epitomizes the philosophy and practice of Chinese garden design, which played a key role in the development of this cultural form throughout the east; 3) The imperial Chinese garden, illustrated by the Summer Palace, is a potent symbol of one of the major world civilizations.

Front Hill

  • Eastern Palace Gate (东宫门; 東宮門; Dōnggōngmén): The main entrance to the Summer Palace. The two bronze lions on either side of the gate are preserved from the Qianlong Emperor’s time while the Cloud Dragon Steps in front of the gate are relics from the Old Summer Palace. The three Chinese characters “Yiheyuan” on the sign above the gate were written by the Guangxu Emperor.
  • Hall of Benevolence and Longevity (仁寿殿; 仁壽殿; Rénshòudiàn): The hall where court sessions were held. It was called “Hall of Good Governance” (勤政殿) in the Qianlong Emperor’s time but was given its present-day name by the Guangxu Emperor. The well north of the hall is called “Year-Prolonging Well” (延年井) while the rockery behind the hall was designed to imitate the Lion Grove Garden in Suzhou. The stalactites are relics from the Old Summer Palace.
  • Hall of Jade Billows (玉澜堂; 玉瀾堂; Yùlántáng): Located west of the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity. It was the living quarters of the Qing emperors. The Guangxu Emperor was once confined here by Empress Dowager Cixi.
  • Yiyun Hall (宜芸馆; 宜芸館; Yíyúnguǎn): Located north of the Hall of Jade Billows. It was originally a library in the Qianlong Emperor’s time, but became the living quarters of Empress Longyu in the Guangxu Emperor’s time. It housed a collection of stone carvings of calligraphy written by the Qianlong Emperor.
  • Dehe Garden (德和园; 德和園; Déhéyuán): Houses the three-storey Great Opera Hall (大戲樓), where opera performances were staged.
    Hall of Joy and Longevity (乐寿堂; 樂壽堂; Lèshòutáng): The living quarters of Empress Dowager Cixi.
  • Long Corridor (长廊; 長廊; Chángláng): Stretches from the Hall of Joy and Longevity in the east to Shizhang Pavilion in the west. The entire corridor is 728 metres long and contains artistic decorations, including paintings of famous places in China, and scenes from Chinese mythology and folktales, The Twenty-four Filial Exemplars and the Four Great Classical Novels.
  • Hall of Dispelling Clouds (排云殿; 排雲殿; Páiyúndiàn): Situated on the centre of the central axis of Longevity Hill. Originally the Great Temple of Gratitude and Longevity (大報恩延壽寺), it was renovated in 1892 and became a place for Empress Dowager Cixi to receive guests, host grand ceremonies, and celebrate her birthday.
  • Tower of Buddhist Incense (佛香阁; 佛香閣; Fóxiānggé): Located right in the centre of the front hill of Longevity Mountain. The tower was originally meant to be a nine-storey Buddhist pagoda built to resemble the Yellow Crane Tower. The Qianlong Emperor ordered the construction to be stopped just after the eighth storey was built. The tower was built on a 20-metre-tall stone base, measures three stories and 41 metres in height, and is supported by eight ironwood pillars. Empress Dowager Cixi visited the tower to offer incense and pray.
    Sea of Wisdom (智慧海; Zhìhuìhǎi): Located on the peak of Longevity Hill. It was built from coloured glass and houses over 1,000 statues of Buddhist figures. It was partially damaged during the Cultural Revolution.
  • Stele of Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake (万寿山昆明湖碑; 萬壽山昆明湖碑; Wànshòushān Kūnmínghú Bēi): Located east of the Hall of Dispelling Clouds. The stele bears six Chinese characters written by the Qianlong Emperor.
  • Pavilion of Precious Clouds (宝云阁; 寶雲閣; Bǎoyúngé): Located west of the Tower of Buddhist Incense. It was originally called “Bronze Pavilion” (銅亭) and was built in 1755. The doors and windows were stolen by soldiers from the Eight-Nation Alliance in 1900. In the 1980s, they were purchased by overseas Chinese and donated back to the Summer Palace.
  • Stone Boat (石舫; Shífǎng): The Stone Boat is 96 metres long. The original wooden boat was burnt in 1860 and has been replaced with a marble copy with western style paddle wheels.
  • Oriole-Listening Hall (听鹂馆; 聽鸝館; Tīnglíguǎn): Located west of Longevity Hill. It used to be where Empress Dowager Cixi watched opera performancees. The hall is now converted into a restaurant specialising in Qing imperial cuisine.
  • Huazhongyou (画中游; 畫中游; Huàzhōngyóu): Located west of Longevity Hill.
  • East of the Front Hill (前山东部; 前山東部; Qiánshān Dōngbù): Has many pavilions and halls.
  • West of the Front Hill (前山西部; Qiánshān Xībù): Has many pavilions and halls.
  • West of the Long Corridor (长廊西端; 長廊西端; Chángláng Xīduān): There is a “West Four Hall” (西四廳) located north of Shizhang Pavilion. The Guangxu Emperor’s Consort Zhen was confined in the hall by Empress Dowager Cixi. It used to be the west entrance into the Summer Palace during the Qianlong Emperor’s time.

Back Hill
Suzhou Street (苏州街; 蘇州街; Sūzhōujiē): In 1762, after returning from touring the Jiangnan region, the Qianlong Emperor ordered the construction of a shopping street resembling Shantang Street in Suzhou. The street was destroyed by the British and French in 1860 and was only restored in 1988.
Garden of Harmonious Pleasures (谐趣园; 諧趣園; Xiéqùyuán): Located in the northeast corner of the Summer Palace. In 1751, when the Qianlong Emperor toured the Jiangnan region, he was so impressed with Jichang Garden in Wuxi that he ordered a Huishan Garden (惠山園) to be built in the Summer Palace and modelled after Jichang Garden. Huishan Garden was renamed “Xiequ Garden” in 1811.
Four Great Regions (四大部洲; Sìdàbùzhōu): Located on the centre of the central axis of the back hill. It was designed to resemble the Samye Monastery in Tibet, and houses statues of Bhaisajyaguru, the Buddha and Amitābha. It was destroyed by the British and French in 1860 but was restored later.
Flower Pavilion and Glass Tower (花承阁琉璃塔; 花承閣琉璃塔; Huāchénggé Liúlítǎ): Located east of the back hill. It was destroyed by the British and French in 1860; only the Glass Tower remains. During the Cultural Revolution, the Buddhist statue at the bottom of the tower was disfigured by the Red Guards.
Former Location of Gaichunyuan (赅春园遗址; 賅春園遺址; Gāichūnyuán Yízhǐ): Located west of the back hill. A small garden was built there during the Qianlong Emperor’s time and the emperor also had his personal study room there. Gaichunyuan was mostly destroyed by the British and French in 1860.
Former Location of Qiwang Pavilion (绮望轩遗址; 綺望軒遺址; Qǐwàngxuān Yízhǐ): Located west of the back hill beside the lake. A small garden was built there during the Qianlong Emperor’s time.

Eastern Dam
Zhichun Pavilion (知春亭; Zhīchūntíng): Located on the east bank of Kunming Lake at the south of the Hall of Jade Billows.
Wenchang Tower (文昌阁; 文昌閣; Wénchānggé): Built to resemble a city gate. It served as an important entry point into the Summer Palace from the east and south during the Qianlong Emperor’s time. The Wenchang Hall (文昌院) beside Wenchang Tower displays cultural artefacts from the Summer Palace.
Kuoru Pavilion (廓如亭; Kuòrútíng): Situated in the middle of the eastern dam, east of the 17 Openings Bridge. It covered an area of 130 square metres.
Bronze Ox (铜牛; 銅牛; Tóngniú): A bronze statue of an ox built in 1755.
Yelü Chucai Shrine (耶律楚材词; 耶律楚材祠; Yēlǜ Chǔcái Cí): A shrine built by the Qianlong Emperor to commemorate Yelü Chucai, an influential statesman in the Mongol Empire. It was closed down after 2003 and its front section was converted into a souvenir shop.

Nanhu Island
17-Arch Bridge (十七孔桥; 十七孔橋; Shíqīkǒngqiáo): Has 17 different types of arches on it. It incorporates features of the Precious Belt Bridge in Suzhou and the Lugou Bridge in Beijing. The entire bridge is 150 metres long and eight metres wide.
Dragon King Temple (龙王庙; 龍王廟; Lóngwángmiào): A temple built to worship the Dragon King.
Hanxu Hall (涵虚堂; 涵虛堂; Hánxūtáng): Located at the north of Nanhu Island, directly facing the Tower of Buddhist Incense on the north bank.
Western Dam
Lake Dividing Bridge (界湖桥; 界湖橋; Jièhúqiáo): The bridge that separates Kunming Lake from the northern lake.
Jade Belt Bridge (玉带桥; 玉帶橋; Yùdàiqiáo)
Binfeng Bridge (豳风桥; 豳風橋; Bīnfēngqiáo)
Jingming Tower (景明楼; 景明樓; Jǐngmínglóu): It was destroyed by the British and French in 1860 and was restored only in 1992. It was designed to imitate

Yueyang Tower.
Mirror Bridge (镜桥; 鏡橋; Jìngqiáo)
White Silk Bridge (练桥; 練橋; Liànqiáo)
Willow Bridge (柳桥; 柳橋; Liǔqiáo): Located most south of the western dam.
Farming and Weaving Picture Scenic Area (耕织图景区; 耕織圖景區; Gēngzhítú Jǐngqū): Built during the Qianlong Emperor’s time, it was designed to bring to life a scene from the daily lives of peasants. This area was excluded from the Summer Palace after it was renovated by Empress Dowager Cixi. In 1949, the area was occupied by the People’s Liberation Army and a paper-making factory was built there. In 2003, the area was incorporated back into the Summer Palace and some old buildings were restored.

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BeiJing the Summer Palace

How To Get to BeiJing the Summer Palace

By Taxi
pls take us to BeiJing the Summer Palace
Practical Chinese:for taxi driver
请拉我们到北京颐和园(海淀区新建宫门路19号)
By Subway
Transfer to Line 4, get off at 北宫门 beigongmen
Then walk about 500m for arrival
BeiJing metro map


BeiJing the Summer Palace tourist map