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The late autumn in yuanmingyuan park,Beijing
Beijing

YuanMingYuan, also known as the 'Old Summer Palace' (The Old Summer Palace, known in China as the Gardens of Perfect Brightness )and originally called the Imperial Gardens, was an extremely large complex of palaces and gardens 8 km (5 miles) northwest of the old city wall of Beijing,it is very close to the Summer Palace. YuanMingYuan was constructed during the 18th and early 19th century and was a wonderland of lakes and waterways, bridges, hills and pavilions. Half of the garderns are covered by the waters of lakes, winding streams and ponds. It was at YuanMingYuan that the emperors of the Qing Dynasty resided and handled government affairs - until it was destroyed; the Forbidden City was mostly used only for formal ceremonies at this time. YuanMingYuan was, indeed, a veritable museum of garden construction and horticulture. Known to be one of the largest museums in the world, a popular name in China was the 'Garden of Gardens'.

 the Imperial Gardens were destroyed by British and French troops in 1860 during the Second Opium War. Today, the destruction of the Gardens of Perfect Brightness is still regarded as a symbol of foreign aggression and humiliation in China.

Copyright: Yunzen Liu
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Tags: yuanmingyuan park; beijing; old summer palace; imperial gardens; summer palace; china
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Overview and HistoryIn the Stone Age, "Peking Man" lived near Beijing -- as many as 500,000 years ago. The earliest relics in China are stone tools dating to this time period. Between four and five thousand years ago there were agricultural settlements southwest of Beijing. They were the beginning of a city that would go through several name changes over the millenia.The legendary Yellow Emperor Huang Di battled Chiyou "in the wilderness of the Zhou prefecture." Zhoulu is a town to the west of modern Beijing. The Yellow Emperor's successor, Emperor Yao, established a capital city called Youdo. Youdo became a place called Ji, and Ji was taken over by the Marquis of Yan during the period of the Warring States (475 B.C.)Ji remained an important city for ten centuries. 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