10 interesting facts about Summer Palace

10 interesting facts about summer palace

Built during the Qing Dynasty in the 18th century, the Summer Palace is a stunning imperial garden in Beijing, China, and features numerous pavilions, halls, bridges, and temples surrounded by lush gardens, lakes, and hills. Here are some interesting facts about this place.

1. The Garden of Virtuous Harmony was the site of the infamous Empress Dowager Cixi’s lavish birthday celebrations. The Empress would hold extravagant celebrations in the garden, complete with performances, feasts, and fireworks displays. She reportedly spent huge sums of money on these celebrations, and they were often criticized as a waste of imperial resources.

2. The Tower of Buddhist Incense is one of the most striking buildings in the Summer Palace. It is a tall pagoda-style tower that was built in 1750 during the reign of Emperor Qianlong. The tower was used as a place of worship and also served as a lookout point for the emperor and his entourage.

3. Suzhou Street is a unique feature of the Summer Palace that is often overlooked by tourists. It is a replica of a typical street in Suzhou, a city famous for its canals and gardens. The street is lined with traditional shops, teahouses, and restaurants, and it offers a glimpse into the daily life of Chinese merchants and artisans.

4. The Summer Palace has inspired many famous writers, artists, and poets over the years. The famous Chinese writer Cao Xueqin reportedly visited the palace and drew inspiration from its beautiful gardens and architecture when writing his masterpiece, “Dream of the Red Chamber.” The Summer Palace has also been depicted in many famous Chinese paintings and poems.

5. The Summer Palace is home to many rare and exotic plant species. The garden is divided into different sections, each with its own unique flora and fauna. Some of the most impressive plants in the Summer Palace include rare orchids, peonies, lotus flowers, and bamboo.

6. The Summer Palace has played a significant role in Chinese history. During the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, the palace was occupied by foreign troops who looted and vandalized many of its treasures. The Chinese government later used the palace as a summer retreat for high-ranking officials and foreign diplomats.

7. The Summer Palace is home to many beautiful bridges, including the Jade Belt Bridge, the 17-Arch Bridge, and the Nine-Dragon Wall. These bridges are not only functional but also serve as stunning works of art that blend seamlessly into the surrounding natural environment.

8. The Summer Palace is also known for its innovative water management system. The garden is filled with artificial lakes and waterways that are fed by natural springs and rainwater. The water is then recycled and used to irrigate the gardens and plants.

9. The Summer Palace has been the site of many important political events. In 1954, the palace hosted the first conference of the Bandung Conference, which was attended by leaders from many newly independent Asian and African countries. The conference marked a turning point in the global balance of power and paved the way for the Non-Aligned Movement.

10. Finally, the Summer Palace is not just a beautiful garden but also a symbol of Chinese culture and history. It embodies the country’s rich traditions of landscape design, architecture, art, and literature, and it has played an important role in shaping Chinese identity and national pride.

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