Videos about QianLong, China

An aerial view of YuanMingYuan 圆明园, BeiJing

YuánMíngYuán was the original Summer Palace, destroyed by imperialist British and French invaders.

The stone ruins are those of the 'Western-style Palces' commissioned by Emperor QianLong. All the Chinese artitecture within the extensive palace grounds was destroyed by fire once the treasures had been looted.

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The Putuo ZongCheng Temple 普陀宗乘之庙 in ChengDe 成德

The Putuo ZongCheng Temple in ChengDe, HeBei province, is a Qing dynasty Buddhist temple.


The complex was constructed between 1767 and 1771 during the reign of emperor QianLong (1735–1796). It is located just north of the ChengDe Mountain Resort. Along with the equally famed Puning Temple, it is one of the Eight Outer Temples of ChengDe (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).


The temple was modeled after the Potala Palace in Tibet. The temple complex covers a surface area of some 220,000 square meters, making it one of the largest in China.

The Mountain Resort in ChengDe 避暑山庄 (BìShǔ ShānZhuāng literally means "Mountain Villa for Avoiding the Heat") was an imperial get-away. Built between 1703 and 1792 during the Qing dynasty, the vast Mountain Resort covers a total area of 5.6 square kilometers (2.2 square miles) and is surrounded by a mini 'Great Wall', which one can walk. It contains a variety of gardens, pagodas, temples and palaces representing the styles from various regions of China.

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The ruins of the Western-style palaces at YuanMingYuan 圆明园, BeiJing

YuanMingYuan, also known as the 'Old Summer Palace', was constructed during the 18th and early 19th century and was a wonderland of lakes and waterways, bridges, hills and pavilions.


One third of the ground of YuanMingYuan was taken up by over 200 small hills with steep sides, secluded valleys, rock walls and stone caves. 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.


The southern part of YuanMingYuan was where emperors handled state affairs, while the other parts were primarily for personal use and comprised of more than 150 scenic spots, involving rare exotic flowers and trees from different parts of the country.


There were originally towers, terraces, pavilions, halls, corridors, pagodas and bridges with a total construction area of 150,000 square meters - corresponding in scale to that of the Imperial Palace. Artisans were recruited from all over China to enact the exquisite settings.


The various styles of architecture, standing encircled by hills and rivulets, presented a most picturesque view. Many were reproductions of scenic mountains, rivers and famous gardens in China (mostly southern China).


During his many tours of the country, emperor QianLong made it a point to have pictures of famous gardens and scenes drawn so that he could have replicas built in Beijing. Most famous of these were the ten scenic spots of the West Lake in HangZhou.


The Old Summer Palace is often associated with the European-style palaces (Xi Yang Lou) that were built of stone. The designers of those structures, the Jesuits Giuseppe Castiglione and Michel Benoist, were employed by emperor QianLong to satisfy his taste for exotic buildings and objects. However, more than 95% of the Imperial Gardens consisted of essentially Chinese-style buildings. There were also a few buildings in Tibetan and Mongolian styles, reflecting the diversity of the Qing empire.


In addition, hundreds of invaluable Chinese art masterpieces and antiquities were stored in the halls, including some unique copies of literary works and collections.


In 1860, during the 'Second Opium War', the British and French expeditionary forces looted the Old Summer Palace. Later, on October 18 1860, a British general - despite protestations from the French (who in fact had began the looting) - gave the order to set fire to the huge complex, which burned to the ground.


In 1900, those buildings that had partly survived or been restored were burnt for good by the Western expeditionary forces sent to quell the 'Boxer Rebellion'. Many priceless artifacts were plundered and made their way to museums and private collections in Europe.


The ruins were further plundered by the warlords of the early republican period and further destruction of the ruins took place during the 'Cutural Revolution'. After all this destruction, what was left was truely just an empty shell.


Empress dowager CiXi later directed the forming of YiHeYuan (Garden of Nurtured Harmony), into a new Summer Palace; this was near to the Old Summer Palace, but on a (somewhat) smaller scale.


Nearest subway station : YuanMingYuan on line 4.


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YuanMingYuan 圆明园, BeiJing

YuanMingYuan, also known as the 'Old Summer Palace', was constructed during the 18th and early 19th century and was a wonderland of lakes and waterways, bridges, hills and pavilions.


One third of the ground of YuanMingYuan was taken up by over 200 small hills with steep sides, secluded valleys, rock walls and stone caves. 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.


The southern part of YuanMingYuan was where emperors handled state affairs, while the other parts were primarily for personal use and comprised of more than 150 scenic spots, involving rare exotic flowers and trees from different parts of the country.


There were originally towers, terraces, pavilions, halls, corridors, pagodas and bridges with a total construction area of 150,000 square meters - corresponding in scale to that of the Imperial Palace. Artisans were recruited from all over China to enact the exquisite settings.


The various styles of architecture, standing encircled by hills and rivulets, presented a most picturesque view. Many were reproductions of scenic mountains, rivers and famous gardens in China (mostly southern China).


During his many tours of the country, emperor QianLong made it a point to have pictures of famous gardens and scenes drawn so that he could have replicas built in Beijing. Most famous of these were the ten scenic spots of the West Lake in HangZhou.


The Old Summer Palace is often associated with the European-style palaces (Xi Yang Lou) that were built of stone. The designers of those structures, the Jesuits Giuseppe Castiglione and Michel Benoist, were employed by emperor QianLong to satisfy his taste for exotic buildings and objects. However, more than 95% of the Imperial Gardens consisted of essentially Chinese-style buildings. There were also a few buildings in Tibetan and Mongolian styles, reflecting the diversity of the Qing empire.


In addition, hundreds of invaluable Chinese art masterpieces and antiquities were stored in the halls, including some unique copies of literary works and collections.


In 1860, during the 'Second Opium War', the British and French expeditionary forces looted the Old Summer Palace. Later, on October 18 1860, a British general - despite protestations from the French (who in fact had began the looting) - gave the order to set fire to the huge complex, which burned to the ground.


In 1900, those buildings that had partly survived or been restored were burnt for good by the Western expeditionary forces sent to quell the 'Boxer Rebellion'. Many priceless artifacts were plundered and made their way to museums and private collections in Europe.


The ruins were further plundered by the warlords of the early republican period and further destruction of the ruins took place during the 'Cutural Revolution'. After all this destruction, what was left was truely just an empty shell.


Empress dowager CiXi later directed the forming of YiHeYuan (Garden of Nurtured Harmony), into a new Summer Palace; this was near to the Old Summer Palace, but on a (somewhat) smaller scale.


Nearest subway station : YuanMingYuan on line 4.


Don't miss :



  • Buying a large souvenir 'map' at the entrance showing the original gardens
  • The ruins of the Western-style palaces
  • FuHai Lake near sunset

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The Summer Palace 頤和園, BeiJing

The Summer Palace is the largest and best-preserved imperial garden in China.

As its name suggests, the Summer Palace was used as a summer residence by China's imperial rulers - as a retreat from the main imperial palace now known as the Palace Museum (or 'Forbidden City') - a pleasure-ground in the countryside, yet near to the city.


In 1860, as part of the 'Opium Wars', the Anglo-French Allied Forces invaded Beijing and set fire to many of the buildings within the original Summer Palace (YuanMingYuan).


In 1888, Dowager Empress CiXi, with funds embezzled from the Imperial Navy, restored the grand gardens. The reconstruction and enlargement of the Summer Palace continued for ten years. After completion, she renamed the gardens 'YiHeYuan' ('Garden of Peace and Harmony').


The Empress Dowager CiXi moved her administration to the renovated YiHeYuan in 1889 and the gardens here that had long been an imperial pleasure-ground became the primary Summer Palace.


Then, shortly after, the eight allied powers invaded in 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion to plunder and destroy the newly reconstructed New Summer Palace.


Only when the fugitive CiXi returned to Beijing in 1903, did full-scale restoration begin. In this way, the Summer Palaces - both old and new - are associated in popular culture with the destructive interference of foreign powers.


Today's Summer Palace is more or less the same as the palace rebuilt from 1903. It was designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1990.


After the success of the 1911 Revolution, the Summer Palace was opened to the public. Then, after the last Qing Emperor PuYi was thrown out of the Palaces in 1924, the Summer Palace was turned into a park. The Summer Palace has become a popular and relaxing destination for both domestic and international tourists.


The Summer Palace is virtually a museum of traditional Chinese gardening that uses rocks, plants, pavilions, ponds, cobble paths and other garden styles to create a poetic effect between different scenes. The halls, pavilions, bridges and temples, Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill, all blend together harmoniously despite their individual styles.


Ingeniously conceived and elaborately designed, the Summer Palace, featuring the garden styles of both northern and southern China, is justifiably known as the 'Garden of Gardens'. Indeed, the Summer Palace represents a quintessentially Chinese ideal of harmony between man and nature.


Don't miss :



  • the beautiful Garden of Harmonious Interests (a 'garden within a garden'),

  • SuZhou Street and the Four Great Regions Tibetan-style temple,

  • and the Tower of Buddhist Incense and Cloud Dispelling Hall on the hill.

The nearest subway station is BeiGongMen ('North Palace Gate') on line 4.


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The Temple of Heaven 天坛, Beijing (2)

The magnificent Temple of Heaven (TianTan) was constructed between 1406 and 1420 (Ming dynasty) during the reign of the emperor YongLe who also oversaw the construction of the Forbidden City.The Temple of Heaven was where emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would offer sacrifices to heaven and pray for good harvests. The temple complex was extended during the reign of emperor JiaJing during the 16th century (Ming dynasty). JiaJing also constructed three other key temples in Beijing : the Temple of the Sun in the east, the Temple of the Moon in the west, and the Temple of Earth in the north. Emperor QianLong directed a renovation of the Temple of Heaven during the 18th century (Qing dynasty). The architecture and layout of the Temple of Heaven is based on elaborate symbolism and numerology. One example is that the buildings and their settings reflect ancient Chinese religious beliefs that imagine heaven as round and earth as square. Because the Temple of Heaven was to be the place representing Heaven on Earth, it needed to be larger than the Forbidden City; it covers approximately twice the area and is about 2 kilometers from north to south, the primary axis with three main structures; indeed, it is the largest group of constructions for worship in the world. In 1998, the Temple of Heaven was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. In early 2005, the Temple of Heaven underwent a 47 million yuan (6 million USD) renovation that was completed on May 1st, 2006. The Temple of Heaven is a delightful place to spend some time. Arrive in the early morning to watch the Tai Chi experts, although the park is lively all day and into the evening with kite flyers, musicians, singers, dancers and games players (from badminton to Chinese chess).

YongHeGong 雍和宫 Lama Temple, BeiJing - video

YongHe Lama Temple dates from 1722 (Qing dynasty). Emperor QianLong conferred it with imperial status and its roof tiles were changed to those with the imperial golden yellow color. The monastery became home to many Tibetan monks and eventually it was declared the National Center of Lama Administration. It is open to the public in the afternoons. The nearest subway station is YongHeGong (lines 2 and 5). Among the many fascinating features is the impressive 26 metre tall statue of the Maitreya Buddha that was carved from a single trunk of White Sandalwood.

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