Old Summer Palace, also known as the "Three Gardens of the Summer Palace", is a large-scale imperial garden created and managed by Chinese emperors over a period of 150 years. It is located adjacent to the Summer Palace in Beijing. The Old Summer Palace consists of three major areas: the Wanshou Mountain, Kunming Lake, and the Qichun Garden, each with its own unique features.
The Wanshou Mountain, serving as the backdrop, features picturesque scenery and provides an ideal vantage point for taking in the beauty of the entire garden. The Kunming Lake, located in the center, is an important element of the garden's water features, offering serene and tranquil views. The Qichun Garden, on the other hand, is a collection of smaller gardens within the Old Summer Palace, each with its own unique design and features.
In 1860, the Old Summer Palace was ravaged by the Anglo-French allied forces, with many of its buildings burned to the ground. Today, visitors can explore the remnants of this once-magnificent imperial palace and imagine its former grandeur.
The Qichun Garden, in particular, boasts a myriad of scenic spots, making it the perfect destination for those seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. During spring, the garden is ablaze with flowering apricot trees, a sight that has been compared to a "splendid sunset." The blooming apricot trees can be seen throughout the park, with the best views found at the Temple of the God of Spring and the Apricot Blossom Pavilion.
With its rich history and cultural heritage, a visit to the Old Summer Palace is not only a chance to soak up its rich history but also to marvel at its captivating beauty. For those looking to experience a piece of China's rich cultural heritage, a visit to the Old Summer Palace is a must.