Sprawled across an expansive area of 2.9 square kilometers Beijing’s Summer Palace is no ordinary imperial garden in the Chinese capital. Dubbed Yíhé Yuán in the native tongue the palace’s name literally translates to Gardens of Nurtured Harmony. As one of Beijing’s premier UNESCO World Heritage Sites the venue renowned for Kunming Lake and towering Longevity Hill is also one of the most frequented historical attractions in the city with hoards of visitors flocking to explore what has been long described as “a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design”. Littered with natural and magnificent man-made structures such as halls, bridges, pavilions, temples and palaces the venue’s outstanding aesthetic appeal with hillscapes and water bodies is what draws visitors from all corners of the globe to this idyllic venue.
Longevity Hill dominates the landscapes of the Summer Palace with an impressive height of 60m as it serves as the centrepiece surrounded by pavilions, halls and garden spaces. The equally breathtaking Kunming Lake covers 2.2km2 of the locale which is renowned for the classical Chinese architectural marvels within its confines.
The Court Area is another must-see region as it houses the Hall of Joyful Longevity and the Hall of Jade Ripples in addition to Yiyun Hall. The picturesque Garden of Virtue and Harmony is also found in this part of the Summer Palace while the Front-Hill Area contains the Baoyun Bronze Pavilion, Hall of Moral Glory, Hall of the Sea of Wisdom, Hall of Dispelling Clouds and the Revolving Archives. The lake region on the other hand is full of quaint bridges such as the Seventeen-Arch Bridge and islets the likes of Nanhu Island while the iconic Marble Boat, the Pavilion of Bright Scenery and Suzhou Market Street are equally worthy of exploration.
Religious edifices are concentrated around the Rear-Hill Area where the Presence of Virtue Temple and Garden of Harmonious Interests are the more frequented environs. The Hall of Increasing Longevity and the Hall of Serenity are also located here in addition to the Four Great Regions.