The Summer Palace: Witness to the Rise and Fall of Qing Dynasty2016-12-05 11:32:48Share:
The Summer Palace, Imperial Garden inQing Dynasty,is also known as Qingyi Garden and locatedin the western suburbs of Beijing's Haidian district,15 km away from the city,covering about 290 hectares, and adjacent to the Old Summer Palace. It is based on Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill, the West Lake in Hangzhou as the contraction prototype, absorbing the essences of Jiangnan Garden design style so to complete the large-scale landscape. It is also the most well preserved royal palace called “the Royal Garden Museum”, and is a national key tourist attraction.
During the Second Opium War in 1860, Qingyi Garden was burnt by British and French allied forces; in 1886, the Garden was rebuilt by Qing government and, two years later, was renamed the Summer Palace as a relaxing land for Empress Dowager Cixi in her later years. 1900, Eight-Power Allied Forces invaded Beijing and the Summer Palace was again looted. in 1902, Qing government rebuilt again. At the end of the Qing Dynasty, the Summer Palace became the main residence for most of top rulers, Emperor Guangxu and Empress Dowager Cixi was ruling the country, issuing imperial decisions and meeting with foreign guests there.
It is based on Kunming Lake and Wanshou Mountain, the West Lake in Hangzhou as the contraction prototype, absorbing the essences of Jiangnan Garden design style so to complete the large-scale landscape. It is also the most well preserved royal palace. It also has a taste of West Lake. Standing on the pier, on the left is Zhichun Pavilion, far away on the right is Wanshou Mountain.
Along the east bank, there is a Bronze Ox named “Water Guardian Bronze Ox” lying on the carved stone and it is well-known for its vivid posture and comparability to real Ox. The bull was made in the 20th year (1755) Qanglong Period in Qing Dynasty in copper and named “the Golden Ox”. Rumors say that it’s for suppressing flood. There are eighty-character in Zhuan body on the back of the bull.
There is a bridge in front of the copper bull called the Seventeen-Arch Bridge. It Is a masterpiece of the ancient Han dynasty bridge construction and is to connect the east coast of Kunming Lake and South Lake Island. It's the biggest bridge in the Garden. The bridge consists of 17 holes,150-meter long flying across the east bank and South Lake Island with a shape of a rainbow shining over the lake. The carvesin the bridge are extremely beautiful, each column is carved with a different demeanor lion on the top, in total 544 lions. There are also carved animals on both ends of the bridge, very vividly.
Kuoru Pavilion is located on the end of the bridge, built in Qianglong Period and people commonly called it Bafang Pavilion. It takes up an area of 140 square meters. There are three circles in the pavilion with 24 cylinders and 16 square pillars. Pavilion roof is following the classic form of “heavy top with pointy ends”. The style is stretch and classic.This pavilion is the largest of all pavilions in Beijing,but also the highest in the existing domestic similar buildings. There is a water outlet in the south area of Kunming Lake. Empress Cixi used waterway to the Summer Palace and boat entered from there, worshiping at the Dragon King Temple then went to the Leshou Room across way.
Through the Seventeen Hole bridge, you reach the South Lake Island,the island is circular shape. There are Dragan King Temple, Jianyuan Room, Danhui Room, Yubo Building, Yunxiang Chamber etc. are all rebuilt after destruction. The north area of South Lake Island is filled with artificial hill made by stones. On the top of the artificial hill, there are Hanxu Hall and Laicui Room. They are the main buildings on the island. Hanxuan Hall is a two-volume hall, terrace on south and surrounded by carved stone ceilings.
There is the famous Seventeen-Arch Bridge located southeast of South Lake Island that connects east bank, it is surrounded by water. Huge stones are used to build the shore, with white stone carved fence enclosed. field of vision is wide and breathtaking, and you can overlook the entire view there that makes it the best viewing and tourist attraction place. And ferries come between the north-east corner and north-west corner of the lake.
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