Old Summer Palace(Yuanminyuan)

Admission Fee

Entrance Fee: CNY 10
Sites of European Palaces: CNY 15
Exhibition Hall of Yuanmingyuan in Heyday: CNY 10
Combo Ticket: CNY 25
Note: free for minors and the old over 60

Opening Hours

Apr. 1 – Oct. 31: 7:00 – 19:00
Nov. 1 – Mar. 31: 7:00 – 17:30

Recommended Time for a Visit           2 hours

Also known as the Ruins of the Yuanmingyuan (the Garden of Perfection and Light), the Old Summer Palace is located northwest of Beijing and to the east of the present-day Summer Palace.

The interesting part of the palace’s history begins with Emperor Qianlong, who was inspired by French and Italian palace architecture. Between 1747 and 1759, under the direction of Italian Jesuit Guiseppe Castiglione, Emperor Qianlong had palaces built to replicate those in Europe, which were then decorated with furniture imported from Europe. There were even mazes in the garden which you can still walk through today.

The palaces were later destroyed by French and British troops during the Second Opium War (1860-1862). Today, all the Old Summer Palace offers are the ruins of the grand palace and a large garden with lakes, trees, and trails. The big lake in the center also has boats for rent.

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