Chengde Mountain Resort
Located in the north of Chengde City, Hebei Province, 230 kilometers away from Beijing, the Mountain Resort was once the summer palace of the Qing emperors of China and is the largest surviving classical royal garden.
It was built in 1703 and took 89 years to complete through three generations of emperors – Kangxi, Yongzheng, and Qianlong. The two famous Qing emperors, Kangxi and his grandson, Qianlong, spent nearly half of the year here each year during their reins and Chengde thus became the second most important political center after Beijing.
The palace complex is vast, covering an area of some 5½ square kilometers (in contrast, the Forbidden City covers only about ¾ square kilometers). It is divided into four main areas: the palace area, the lake area, the mountain area, and the plain area, of which the palace area and the lake area are the essences of the Summer Palace.
The Lake District comprises eight lakes, which are designed from the decorations of the gardens of Suzhou and the panoramas of the West Lake of Hangzhou, while the Plains District is a replica of typical Mongolian grasslands, where the emperors held horse racing events. The Mountain District is characterized by dense forests and houses many temples, pagodas, and pavilions. These temples were built by the Qing government to strengthen frontier management. The concentration of temples, the grand scale, the exquisite architecture, and the superb manufacturing skills of a large number of Buddha statues and sacrificial utensils in these temples make it one of the holy places of Tibetan Buddhism.
Today, the Mountain Resort has been reconstructed as a tourist attraction and is one of the three major ancient architectural complexes in China. Its most distinctive feature is that the gardens are in the mountains and the mountains are also in the gardens. Walking in such a beautiful park with more than 120 groups of large and small buildings will surely make you appreciate the charm of nature and forget your earthly worries.
Chinese Name: 避暑山庄
Location: No.22, Lizhengmen Street, Chengde City, Hebei Province.
High season (01/04-31/10): 07h00-18h00
Low season (01/11-31/03): 08h00-17h30
Ticket: 130 RMB/person (high season) or 90 RMB/person (low season)
Recommended length of visit: 4-5 hours
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