Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Summer Palace

So for one of our last days in Beijing we went with our Austrian friends and visited the Summer Palace. The Summer Palace or Yihe yuan literally "Gardens of Nurtured Harmony" is mainly dominated by Longevity Hill (60 meters high) and the Kunming Lake. It covers 2.9 square kilometers, three quarters of which is water. You will find a variety of palaces, gardens, and other classical-style architectural structures. Artisans reproduced the garden architecture styles of various palaces in China. The palace complex suffered two major attacks--during the Anglo-French allied invasion of 1860 and during the Boxer Rebellion, in an attack by the eight allied powers in 1900. The garden survived and was rebuilt in 1886 and 1902. In 1888, it was given the current name, Yihe Yuan. It served as a summer resort for Empress Dowager Cixi.

The Garden

Clark practicing his meditation (out tour guide Charlie made him do this!)

Climbing up to see the top of the Summer Palace.

View from the top.

The soldiers would steal everything right before the palace was invaded...including the jade heads!

The famous jade boat.

Our Austrian friends and Charlie!

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