Last Updated on Friday, 13 May 2011 17:17
The history of Summer Palace could be dated back to 800 years ago; Jin Dynasty chose Zhongdu (Beijing) to its capital and built many huge, great buildings in Beijing, including the Golden Hill Palace, which was built in this area in 1153.
During the time of the heyday of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), for celebrating his mother’s birthday, the Emperor Qianlong summoned skillful and ingenious artisans from all over the country to build an imperial summer palace. After 15 years and one seventh of the nation's annual revenue, Garden of Clear Ripples, the original name of Summer Palace, was completed and become a essence of the China's scientific and technological achievements.
However, Anglo-French allied forces burnt down this giant imperial Summer Palace in 1860 along with the Yuanming Yuan (Garden of Perfection and Brightness), and numerous precious stones and ornaments disappeared at that time.
In 1888, Empress Dowager Cixi rebuilt the garden on the same site and named it Nurtured Harmony Garden with the funds which are originally for creating a modern navy. Unfortunally, the Palace and grounds were destroyed again in 1900 by the Eight Power Allied Forces. Then, in 1903, it had a rebuilt and more or less the same as it looks today. At last, when the last emperor Puyi of Qing dynasty was driven out of the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace becomes a public park subsequently.