Summer Palace in northwest Beijing, China
Photo credit: @_jnov
The Summer Palace 頤和園 (Yiheyuan, ‘Nourishing Peace Garden’) is a vast ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces in Beijing. Mainly dominated by Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake, it covers an expanse of 2.9 square kilometres (1.1 sq mi), three-quarters of which is water.
It was an imperial garden in the Qing Dynasty, and served as a summer resort for the Empress Dowager (empress mother) Cixi.
It is said to be the best preserved imperial garden in the world, and the largest of its kind still in existence in China. During the hot Beijing summers, the imperial family preferred the beautiful gardens and airy pavilions of the Summer Palace to the walled-in Forbidden City.
In 1998, UNESCO included the Summer Palace on its World Heritage List as "a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design"
It harmonizes plants and paths, water and land, architecture and horticulture, epitomizing the philosophy and practice of Chinese garden design. It is a potent symbol of one of the world’s major civilizations. ...