Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan), Beijing

4.1
#7 of 169 in Parks in Beijing
Favorite summer retreat for Qing emperors until its systematic destruction by Anglo-French troops in 1860, Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan) serves as a reminder of the ruthlessness of European gunboat diplomacy. Originally built in the 12th century, this partially restored palace spans 350 hectares (864 acres), expanded in the 18th and early 19th centuries with the help of two Italian Jesuits. Take a boat ride to explore lotus ponds, or stroll along the Jiuzhou lakefront to ponder intricately carved stone ruins and hundreds of scenic spots. Ascend the throne for observing waterworks and the maze of this "Versailles of the East," looted and thoroughly destroyed by the West. The first ever Pekinese dog in the UK, kidnapped by Lord Elgin from this spot as a gift to Queen Victoria, started a real vogue among British elites of the time. Plan to visit Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan) during your Beijing vacation using our convenient Beijing road trip site .
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Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan) Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
908 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Got pickpocketed here as I was buying some stuff from the vendor in the park so please be more careful with your belongings as there isnt many guards her compared to other parts of beijing or...  more »
  • There are few ruins at the Old Summer Palace, the buildings were destroyed by the foreign barbarians - AKA the English and French. Tragic. Near the entrance, at weekends, it’s busy. But keep walking....  more »
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