Yuanmingyuan Park, situated in the northwest of Beijing, is the most magnificent royal garden of Qing Dynasty in the Chinese history. The construction started in 1709 during the rule of the Emperor of Kangxi (the second emperor of the Qing Dynasty.), went through 6 emperors and finally finished in 1875. The park is comprised of the Eternal Spring Garden, the Wanchun Garden and Yuanmingyuan Garden with the building area of over 160,000 square meters as big as the Imperial Palace and the area of water as large as the Summer Palace.
Yuanmingyuan Park was named by Emperor Kangxi. “Yuanming” means round and brightness in Chinese and the Chinese character is “圆明”. The implication of “Yuan” is moderate and the “Ming” means that the brightness can cover the whole nation. Yuanmingyuan drew on the characteristics of Suzhou gardens and inherited the cream of Chinese ancient gardening. The southern part of Yuanmingyuan Park is the place where the emperor handled the national affairs. And the rest part distributes forty scenic areas in which more than 50 spots imitate famous parks, lakes, and mountains at home and abroad. Yuanmingyuan was also like an art museum which collected numerous curios and artworks. Yuanmingyuan Park was the home of various sorts of exotic flowers and unusual trees. No wonder that Yuanmingyuan Park was reputed “the most beautiful garden in the world”.
Unfortunately, this grand royal garden fell into ruins during the Second Opium War. British and French troops ruthlessly invaded Beijing in 1860. On October 6, the Yuanmingyuan was seized by British and French army. On the following day, the invaders began their crazy robbery and destruction. After robbing of everything in the park, Earl of Elgin ordered to set fire to the Yuanmingyan Park for covering up their guilt. After three days burning, the park was turned from a beauty into a deserted place.
After the establishment of the People Republic of China, the central government attached much importance to the protection of Yuanmingyuan Park. In 1979, Yuanmingyuan became one of the national key cultural preservation centers. The restoration of the park had been gradually carried out after 1979. Now, Yuanmingyuan has been developed into a memorial park.
Admission Fee: 10RMB
Open Time: 7:00-19:00