The Summer Palace

The Summer Palace is situated 9 miles northwest of Beijing in the Haidian District.

The main entrance is via the East Palace Gate and you then reach the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity. It was built in 1750, burned down in 1860 by the Anglo-French forces and rebuilt in 1888.

In the courtyard there is a magnificent bronze statue of a Kylin. With its dragons head, lion tail deer horn and cattle hoof it is supposed to guard against destruction by fire. In front of the hall are two pairs of bronze statues of dragons and phoenixes.

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Towards the lake is the Hall 0f Joyful Longevity. The bronze deer, crane and vase in front of the hall symbolise peace

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The lake is popular with locals and tourists as a place to relax or just admire the view.

The Long Gallery is a 728 metre long corridor at the foot of Longevity Hill that runs parallel to Kumming Lake. It was built in 1750 in the fifth year of the reign of Emperor Qianlong so that his mother could walk out of doors regardless of the weather. Later, the Empress Dowager Cixi liked to walk here after breakfast. Along the entire length of the gallery there are 14,000 Su style paintings covering every surface.

91 The Long Corridor92 The Long Corridor

Along the way there were people practicing their calligraphy.

85 Caligraphy80

At the end of the lake we saw The Marble Boat. The original Marble Boat was built in 1755 with a base of stones supporting a wooden pavilion. This was burned down in 1860 leaving only the hull. In 1893 the Empress Dowager Cixi had the boat rebuilt in marble using a Western design. She financed the rebuilding with funds embezzled from the navy. The name of the boat was changed to Qingyan Fang and provided a venue for Cixi to view the scenery and to be entertained. At the time the Chinese Empire was in military and political crisis but Cixi embezzled yet more funds to rebuild the Summer Palace.

53 The Marble Boat

The boat is the only Western style structure in the Summer Palace and is inlaid with colourful glass windows.

We returned along the lake on one of the dragon boats at the end of another interesting excursion.

52 Dragon boat

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Still taking pictures.

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About crosbyman66

My aim is to create a photo diary of my walks and my travels. I have two main hobbies, walking and photography and these complement each other. I am a senior citizen, what used to be called an old age pensioner, but I don't feel old. Since retirement I have had more time to pursue my hobbies and the opportunity to travel more. My philosophy now is - Do what you can, while you can. My other interests are fine wines and keeping fit. These may not complement each other but keep me happy.
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