Yuan Ming Yuan Imperial Garden (The Old Summer Palace)
No.28 Qinghua West Road, Haidian District, Beijing, China
: Northwest of Tiananmen
: 18.8 km away from the city center Tiananmen
Gate: 10 RMB/adult, 15 RMB for month ticket
Western Building Ruin Area (Dashuifa, Exhibition Hall, Maze): 15 RMB/adult
Model Shows of the Palmy Days of Yuan Ming Yuan
Subway Line 4 at Yuan Ming Yuan Station
Bus No.320, 319, 801, 331, 690, 696 at Yuan Ming Yuan Stop
Visitors can feel the prosperity of its palmy days in the stone carving and broken bricks. And the Chinese will never forget the national disgrace from the ruins of Yuan Ming Yuan.
Function or value in the past
The Emperors Yongzheng, Qianlong, Jiaqing, Daoguang and Xianfeng were used to live in Yuan Ming Yuan for entertainment. They also assembled officials and dealt with the national affairs. Yuan Ming Yuan and the forbidden city were all the national political center. Yuan Ming Yuan was also called the royal garden.
Western Building (Xiyanglou)
Located over an area of about seven hectares in the north part of Changchunyuan, Xiyanglou is China's first replica European-style garden, consisting of over ten Western-style palaces and yards, such as Xieqiqu (Harmonious Wonder), Huanghuazhen (Labyrinth), Yangquelong (Aviary), Fangwaiguan (Belvedere), Haiyantang (Hall of National Peace), Yuanyingguan (Immense Ocean Observatory), Dashuifa (Grand Waterworks), Guan Shuifa (Throne for Viewing the Waterworks), and Xianfashan (Hell of Perspective).
This garden was designed by F.Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766), an Italian missionary, and P.Michael Benoist (1715-1774) from France, and constructed by Chinese artisans under their supervision. Planning started in 1747 (12th year of Emperor Qianlong's reign). In the fall of 1751, the first waterworks, Xieqiqu, were completed. The Labyrinth in the east was built from 1756 to 1759. And in 1783, the magnificent Yuany6ingguan was finally added.
Twenty copperplates of the European Palaces were made by court artisans in its heyday, according to the sketches made by a court painter, Yi Lantai. Each was 58 cm high and 93 cm wide.
Parts of these stone buildings survived the fire of 1860, and still stand today as a reminder of the national tragedy.
Between 1977 and 1992, the ruins of the Xiyanglou garden were redone: the foundations cleaned up, the fountains repaired, the surviving pillars and stones restored, and the Labyrinth rebuilt.
Located to the eat of Haiyantang, and at the meeting point of the north-south axis of Changchunyuan and the east-west axis of the European Palaces, this site was the most spectacular scene of Western-style fountains in the garden, where the British envoy George Macartney visited in 1793.
Dashuifa, facing south, was a group of fountains with a shrine-shaped structure in the background. In an oval pond was a hunting scene: a deer, whose horns sprayed water, was chased by a group of hounds, whose mouths shot water in the direction of their prey-with 13-layer fountain pyramids on both sides, this presented a magnificent display. To the south of Dashuifa was Guan Shuifa, which consisted of a throne facing north for the emperor to admire the Grand Waterworks, and a carved, curving stone screen. These two structures were both built around 1759.
Yuangyingguan, to the north of Dashuifa, was a large building in the shape of a Western bell tower, built in 1783. The doors and windows were inlaid with 1,206 pieces of glass. The building was supported by over ten tall, White marble pillars, among which the most beautiful were the two supporting the central arched gate. They were both carved in detail from top to bottom in patterns of hanging grapes with life-like vines and leaves.
Much weathered after more than a century, the surviving carved pillars, stone shrine and screen still look distinctive and impressive. This site is a must-see for visitors.
In the history, Yuan Ming Yuan consists of Yuan Ming Yuan, Changchun Yuan, Yichun Yuan (Wanchun Yuan). The three gardens were closed together and called Yuan Ming Yuan. It covered about 350 hectares, even larger than the Summer Palace.
Yuan Ming Yuan Exhibition Hall
Address: Ruin Area of the Western Building in Changchun Yard
Service Items: Free Visit, Guide for groups at any time, Large documentary play from 08:30-17:00, Sales on the history books and pictures of Yuan Ming Yuan
Model Show of the Palmy Days of Yuan Ming Yuan
Address: Southeast of the Western Building Ruins in Changchun Yard
Service Items: Guide for groups at any time
07:00 - 19:30 from November to the next March, stop ticketing at 17:30
07:00 - 20:30 on April, September and October, stop ticketing at 18:30
07:00 - 21:00 from May to August, stop ticketing at 19:00
Stop ticketing for group at 17:30
Website of Attractions
Views from Travelers
I love the mountain with green trees around. It makes me feel joyful. I usually went to this park. It is large and beautiful. I always wanted to wear ancient clothing to take photos here.
Yuan Ming Yuan park is quite large. The Western Building needs guidance. There are lots of trees in the park. It is suitable to take children here.
Yuan Ming Yuan is a beautiful royal garden. I've been there twice. It is close to Qinghua University and Peking University. I love the western building and Huanghuazhen in the park.
The park is a historical ruin, which represents the history. Most of the park keeps the original looks. It is quite big. We got lost last time.
Yuan Ming Yuan is larger than the Summer Palace. But some place are still not developed. Ruin of the Western Building is worthy to visit.
It had been a royal garden that emperors of five dynasties had put their effort on. But it was damaged by the Eight -power Allied Forces 100 years ago. The ruins now can also show the splendor of those years.
It was once called garden of gardens, Eastern Versailles. But there are only ruins now.
The Lakeview Hotel (1.99 km)
Home Inn (Beijing Qinghua University East Stores) (1.47 km)
China Electronics Huajing Business Hotel (1.99 km)
Hanting Inn (Beijing Qinghua East Road Store) (1.53 km)
Jinjiang Inn (Beijing Shuangqing Road Store) (1.90 km)
Sun Home Fashion Hotel (1.57 km)