Chengde Mountain Summer Resort, China
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Chengde Mountain Summer Resort
The Mountain Summer Resort lies in Hebei Province, 25 kilometers from Chengde City.
Also called "the imperial palace of Rehe River" and commonly known as "the temporary palace of Chengde".
It was built from 1703 to 1792 and lasted 27 years. It covers an area of 5,640,000 square meters. The palace wall reaches 10 kilometers and it was in this place that the emperor of Qing Dynasty spent summer holidays, held celebrations and processed government affairs. It is the second political center of Qing Dynasty.
The Mountain Summer Resort is the largest garden that the imperial family left and preserved. The Chinese ancient royal especially the emperor loved to build one or two temporary palaces in places with graceful natural landscapes decorated jointly with man-made gardens.
As modern people think, perhaps this is the emperor's life style. There are more than 100 beautiful constructions in this grand garden such as pavilions, temples, and courtyards.
The biggest characteristic here is that there are mountains within the garden and gardens in the mountain. The mountain covers four-fifths of the entire garden. The topography gap is 180 meters between the northwestern summit and the southeastern lakes and plains. Many sight spots were built according to the terrain of peaks, cliffs, and mountain streams.
The design formation of this large-scale garden is independent but related to each other. For example, there are two unique pavilions named "the Snowy South Hill" and "Surround Cloudy Hill", which are two independent scenes. Yet, if you look over the entire garden from those two pavilions, the view in each scenic spot of the garden are comparable, strange mountains, stones, courtyards, terraces and the distant City of Chengde are all in your eyes.
The layout of the resort can be divided into two parts - palace area and scene area. The main constructions are in the palace area. All kinds of grand celebrations of Qing Dynasty were held in this place. Many envoys and important people of many countries were once entertained in this place. The sleeping palace of the emperor in Qing Dynasty is also in this place.
The scene area is divided into three parts - the lake area, the plain area, and the mountain area. There are many natural landscapes in this area such as lakes, grasslands, and forests. Every time the emperor and the royal family spent their holidays, they galloped grasslands and hunted animals in this area. The scene area is much bigger than the palace area.
Looking into the history of Qing Dynasty, you will know that the Mountain Summer Resort was once the place where many emperors loved to stay and spent holidays. Particularly Kangxi and Qianlong emperor lived here for nearly half a year every year. Of course many officials and important envoys often came here to confer great events, so it had the title of "the second political center" in Qing Dynasty.
After forming of the People's Republic of China, the successive leaders also loved to come here and spent holidays. Now it is one of the ten most beautiful scene spots in China. It was list in the record of world culture legacy by the ESC.U.N in December in 1994.
You certainly cannot miss this scene spot with a lot of brilliant history.