The Summer Palace, an imperial garden during the Qing Dynasty in China, formerly known as Qingyi Garden, is located in the western suburbs of Beijing, 15 kilometers away from the city, covering an area of about 290 hectares (2.9 square kilometers), adjacent to the Old Summer Palace. It is a large-scale landscape garden built based on Kunming Lake and Wanshou Mountain, based on Hangzhou West Lake and absorbing the design techniques of Jiangnan gardens. It is also the best preserved imperial palace and imperial garden, known as the "Royal Garden Museum" . The Summer Palace was the most important center of political and diplomatic activities by the supreme ruler of the late Qing Dynasty outside the Forbidden City. It was an important witness of modern Chinese history and the place where many major historical events occurred. In the tenth year of Xianfeng (1860), Qingyi Garden was burned down by the British and French forces. It was rebuilt in the 14th year of Guangxu (1888) and was renamed the Summer Palace as a summer amusement park. In the twenty-sixth year of Guangxu (1900), the Summer Palace was destroyed by the "Eight-Power Allied Forces" and the treasures were looted. After the fall of the Qing Dynasty, the Summer Palace was destroyed again during the warlords' melee and the Kuomintang rule.
Before Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty succeeded to the throne, four large royal gardens were built in the western suburbs of Beijing. In the fifteenth year of Qianlong (1750), Emperor Qianlong used 4.48 million taels of silver to honor his mother, the Empress Dowager Chongqing, to rebuild it into Qingyi Garden, forming a 20-kilometer royal garden area from the current Qinghua Garden to Xiangshan. During the Qingyiyuan period, Emperor Qianlong had a lot of collections of literature and play, including Shang and Zhou bronzes, Tang, Song, Yuan and Ming porcelains and jade, as well as calligraphy and painting. There were more than 40,000 furnishings recorded at that time. management. After the Opium War, due to the decline of the Qing Dynasty's national power, the Qingyi Garden Furnishings were abolished. By the fifth year of Xianfeng (1855), there were 37,583 Furnishings. In the tenth year of Xianfeng (1860), five large royal gardens in the northwestern suburbs of Beijing, including Qingyi Garden, were brutally burned by the British and French forces. According to the inventory after the looting by the British and French forces, there are only 530 furnishings left in Qingyi Garden, and many of them are broken. In 1900, the Eight-Power Allied Forces invaded Beijing, and the Summer Palace suffered another catastrophe, and the cultural relics in the garden were destroyed again. In 1902, Cixi restored the Summer Palace again and greatly enriched the furnishings in the garden.
In the twenty-fourth year of Guangxu (1898), on April 28 (June 16), Emperor Guangxu summoned Kang Youwei at the Renshou Hall of the Summer Palace, ordered Kang to walk on Zhangjing of the General Administration, and promised his special event. Since the announcement of the reform on April 23, Emperor Guangxu went to the Summer Palace 12 times to summon the reformers to plan the reform. On the fourth day of August (September 19), Empress Dowager Cixi returned to the palace from the Summer Palace. Two days later, she launched a coup d'etat, imprisoned Emperor Guangxu, arrested and killed the Reformers, and the Reform Movement of 1898 failed. During the reform period (from June to September), Cixi lived in the Summer Palace. The Summer Palace became the center for the conservatives to oppose the reform and prepare for the coup. After the failed reform, Guangxu was confined in Yulantang in the garden for a long time.
The Summer Palace covers an area of 293 hectares and is mainly composed of Longevity Mountain and Kunming Lake. There are more than 3000 palace garden buildings of various forms, which can be roughly divided into three parts: administration, life, and sightseeing. The administrative area with Renshou Hall as the center was the place where the Empress Dowager Cixi and Emperor Guangxu sat in court and met with foreign guests. Behind the Palace of Renshou are three large courtyards: Le Shou Tang, Yu Lan Tang and Yi Yun Pavilion, where Cixi, Guangxu and the concubines lived respectively. The Deheyuan Theater on the east side of Yiyun Pavilion is one of the three major theaters in Qing Dynasty.
The Summer Palace descends from the Wisdom Sea on the top of Wanshou Mountain, and consists of the Buddha Incense Pavilion, Dehui Hall, Paiyun Hall, Paiyun Gate, and Yunhui Yuyu Square, forming a central axis with distinct levels. At the foot of the mountain is a "promenade" with a length of more than 700 meters. There are more than 8,000 colorful paintings on the beams of the promenade, which is known as the "world's first corridor". Before the promenade is Kunming Lake. The west dike of Kunming Lake is modeled on the Su dike of West Lake. There are ancient trees in the back hills of Longevity Mountain and Houhu Lake, with Tibetan temples and Suzhou Creek Ancient Commercial Street. At the east end of Houhu, there is a humorous garden imitating Wuxi Jichang Garden, which is small and exquisite and is called "the garden in the garden".
After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, there are more than 40,000 cultural relics in the Summer Palace. The categories involve bronze, jade, porcelain, wood, lacquer, calligraphy and painting, ancient books, enamel, clocks and watches, bamboo ware, musical instruments, root carvings, miscellaneous items, etc., almost covering China In all categories of cultural relics handed down, there are many foreign cultural relics; from the point of view of value, there are more than 20,000 national cultural relics, including the national treasures such as the white tripod of the son of Guoxuan, the Sanxi Zun, and the tapestry long axis Buddha. On March 4, 1961, the Summer Palace was announced as the first batch of national key cultural relics protection units. It was also named as China’s Four Famous Gardens along with the Chengde Mountain Resort, Humble Administrator’s Garden, and Lingering Garden. It was included in November 1998. "World Heritage List". On May 8, 2007, the Summer Palace was officially approved by the National Tourism Administration as a national 5A-level tourist attraction. In 2009, the Summer Palace was selected as the largest existing royal garden in China by the China World Record Association.