Summer Palace
largest and best-preserved imperial garden
The Summer Palace is a garden in Beijing, mainly dominated by Longevity Hill and the Kunming Lake, covering 2.9 square kilometers, three quarters of which is water. It has a history of 800 years and is the largest and best-preserved imperial garden in China.

The central Kunming Lake covering 2.2 square kilometers was entirely man made, created by extending an existing body of water to imitate the West Lake in Hangzhou. The excavated soil was used to build Longevity Hill. Its building space consists of palaces, gardens and other classical-style architectural structures. The palace served as a place for emperors to rest and deal with state affairs and can be divided into three parts: administration, residence and scenery area. Its major attractions include Suzhou Street, Marble Boat, Long Corridor, 17-Arch Bridge, Tower of Buddhist Incense, Jade Belt Bridge and the Garden of Harmonious Interests.

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. In 1998, UNESCO included the Summer Palace in its World Heritage List.
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