Yuanmingyuan Scenic Area, Beijing
(圆明园景区 yuán míng yuán jǐng qū)
Address: 28 Qinghua West Road, Haidian district, Beijing
Websites: www.yuanmingyuanpark.cn (Cn)
Scenic Spot Level: AAAAA
Opening Hours :
Jan-March 15, Oct 16- Dec: 7:00-19:30 (last ticket sold at 17:30)
March 16-April, Sept- Oct 15:7:00-20:00 (last ticket sold at 18:00)
May-Aug: 7:00-21:00 (last ticket sold at 19:00)
General admission: 10 yuan ($1.43)/person
Western-style Palaces: 15 yuan/person
Exhibition for the garden model: 5 yuan/person
1. Children aged six and under, or who are 120 cm or less in height, are free of charge.
2. Senior citizens aged 60 and over are free of charge with an old-age card or valid ID card;
3. Half-price concessions for the general admission of minors aged 18 and under, full-time university undergraduates and below (excluding graduate students, short-term training students, adult continuing education students)
The Yuanmingyuan is a garden located in Haidian district, a western suburb of Beijing, and is adjacent to the Summer Palace. It was built in 1707, the 46th year of Emperor Kangxi's reign in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
It was composed of three gardens, namely the Yuanming, the Changchun and the Qichun gardens. Covering 350 hectares and with a construction area of 160,000 square meters, it is a large imperial palace built by the Qing emperors and operated by them for more than 150 years.
The Yuanmingyuan, once known for its magnificent scale, outstanding construction techniques, exquisite architectural landscape, rich cultural collections, and profound national cultural connotations, was praised as "the model of all gardening art" and "the garden of all gardens". But in October 1860, it was looted and burned by Anglo-French coalition forces.
The Yuanmingyuan was originally the compound given by Emperor Kangxi (r. 1662-1722) to his fourth son Yinzhen, the future Emperor Yongzheng (r. 1723-35). It was also the place where five Qing emperors lived and dealt with court affairs.
The great French writer Victor Hugo called the Yuanmingyuan and the Parthenon temple of Athens the representatives of Eastern and Western art, praising the former "not only as a unique and unprecedented masterpiece, but also as a lofty model of fantasy art".
A British pastor who once saw the scenery of the Yuanmingyuan wrote: "Only a poet, painter, historian, art connoisseur, Chinese scholar, and other person with other talents can describe the garden landscape and describe if fully." From these descriptions it is not difficult to imagine the glory and beauty of the Yuanmingyuan.
At present, ruin sites (including those have been restored) accessible to visitors include the Dashuifa (Great Fountains), Haiyantang (Hall of Tranquil Sea), Xieqiqu (Palace of Balanced and Harmonious Wonder), Huanghuazhen (Yellow Flower Formation), and Yuanyinguan (View of Distant Seas).
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