China/Beijing Summer Palace Part 25
By: Nurettin YilmazPublished: 8 months ago
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The Summer Palace (Chinese: 頤和園;), is a vast ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces in Beijing, China. It serves as a popular tourist destination and recreational park. Mainly dominated by Longevity Hill (万寿山; 萬壽山; Wànshòu Shān) and Kunming Lake (昆明湖; Kūnmíng Hú), it covers an expanse of 2.9 square kilometres (1.1 sq mi), three-quarters of which is water.
Longevity Hill is about 60 metres (200 feet) high and has many buildings positioned in sequence. The front hill is rich with splendid halls and pavilions, while the back hill, in sharp contrast, is quiet with natural beauty. The central Kunming Lake, covering 2.2 square kilometres (540 acres), was entirely man-made and the excavated soil was used to build Longevity Hill.
In December 1998, UNESCO included the Summer Palace on its World Heritage List. It declared the Summer Palace "a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value".
The entire Summer Palace is centred around Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake, with the latter covering about three quarters of the area. Most of the important buildings were built along the north–south axis of Longevity Hill, which is divided into the front hill and the back hill. There are three small islands within Kunming Lake: Nanhu Island, Zaojiantang Island and Zhijingge Island. The West Dam of Kunming Lake divides the lake into two. The East Dam was constructed during the reign of the Guangxu Emperor. The attractions in the Summer Palace may be divided into six different sections or scenic areas: the Halls, Longevity Hill, Kunming Lake, the Farming and Weaving Picture Scenic Area, the Long Corridor, and the Central Axis area.Wikipedia