Dr. David Silber 19.08.2010 rerelease 23.05.13
When westeners think about Cixi and the last emperor, they talk often about "The Summer Palace". However, there are indeed two summer palaces. While the the summer palace near the Kunming Lake is best preserved and known to most tourists, the "old summer palace" is best known by people of Beijing as a nice place to take a stroll.
The summer palace was used in ancient times by the royal court during hot summer months. Today you can stroll along
- beautiful pavillions and gardens
- 300 years old temples
- the beautiful Kunming lake.
You can find more pictures of the summer palace in a flick-gallery, which I curate.
the "old" Summer Palace
When I was at the nearby Peking university, my colleaugues took me to the "old" summer palace to see the ruins of an old palace. The palace was destroyed by european forces during the opium war. However, you can still see how magnificicent it has been once. Afterwards we strolled on through the large park to see the beautiful white orchids.