The Summer Palace in Beijing is the largest surviving imperial garden in China and is also a standard northern imperial garden. It has a beautiful scenery, moutain and water surrounded. The Summer Palace was loved by the Empress Dowager Cixi, she lived here for several years.
Walking in the Summer Palace, people can always vaguely see the sign of Jiangnan. Green water and stone bridge, the small buildings with two floors have beam with carving and painting which has both north and south style of folk houses. How refined the quality of art is.
The Summer Palace is based on Kunming Lake and Longevity Mountain. Longevity Mountain is like a pillar that props up the sky. Palaces and pavilions are scattered randomly from foot to the top of the mountain. The centrally-located Buddhist Fragrance Pavilion, World of Abundant Fragrance and the Hall of the Sea of Wisdom are surrounded by other palaces and pavilions. The building is awe-inspiring in size and design and displays a gesture of the royal family arrogance and the sovereign descending the world.
Buddhist Fragrance Pavilion is the highest point in the entire garden, standing on it and overlooking the Summer Palace, let a person can’t help but praise the large-scale Royal Garden. Yellow glazed tiles scatter a powerful aura, this is the exclusive color of the emperor, in addition to Beijing, you can’t see it elsewhere.
The Marble Boat also known as the Boat of Purity and Ease, is a lakeside pavilion on the grounds of the Summer Palace. The original pavilion was made from a base of large stone blocks which supported a wooden superstructure done in a traditional Chinese design. During the Second Opium War, the pavilion was burnt, it was restored in 1893 on order of Empress Dowager Cixi. In this restoration, a new two-story superstructure was designed which incorporated elements of European architecture. Like its predecessor, the new superstructure is made out of wood but it was painted to imitate marble.
The Long Corridor is the longest garden corridor in China, the total length of the Long Corridor is 728 metres, with crossbeams under the roof dividing it into 273 sections. Along its course, there are four octagonal pavilions with double eaves, two on each side of the Cloud-Dispelling Gate. The pavilions symbolize the four seasons (spring, summer, autumn, winter) and are named (from east to west): Liu Jia, Ji Lan, Qiu Shu, and Qing Yao. When people walk down the long corridor, they can appreciate beautiful lakes and mountains on both sides of the corridor.
It is said that when the Summer Palace was under repair Empress Dowager Cixi embezzled expenditure on navy, which led to the Northern Navy was defeated, then the 61-year-old woman appealed to Japan for peace and signed an unprecedented humiliating Shimonoseki Treaty.
In recent years, the Seventeen Arches Bridge in the Summer Palace has become a popular tourist spots, especially around the time of the winter solstice, the sunset is in the south-west direction, the warm light of the setting sun illuminates all the bridge holes of the Seventeen Arches Bridge one by one, thus forming a natural series of “golden arches” spectacle, people call it “Golden Light Piercing”. Even if it is not at sunset, the long bridge connecting the east bank of Kunming Lake and Nanhu Island is picturesque, even poetical.
Those who have seen private gardens in southern yangtze can see the difference between private gardens and royal gardens at a glance. The royal gardens need no further hiding, the royal gardens need no restraining and connotation, the royal gardens need no curving trail profounded the woods, not to mention seeing a bigger picture from small matters, the royal gardens are as big as they want.
Our eyes are full of greenery, although there is no poetry such as “the emerald lotus leaves reach as far as where water and sky meet, and lotus blossoms bathing in the sunshine exhibit a distinctive dazzling pink”, but green leaves, gleaming ripples, tourist boats, painted pleasure boat, which constitutes a beautiful painting.
Kunming Lake is located in the western suburb of Beijing Summer Palace, about three-quarters of the Summer Palace. Before Emperor Qianlong, the west of Nanhu Island was a lake and the east was land. In order to create the lake, Xian Island-Nanhu Island was left, and the east coast of the rest of the lake was moved eastward. The whole Kunming Lake was doubled and connected to Nanhu Island again with the 17-hole bridge.
Summer Palace is the boundless romantic royal garden, Summer Palace is the glory and shame of the Qing dynasty, Emperor Qianlong’s last big task made Summer Palace unmatched in the world 259 years ago.