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Old Summer Palace marks 157th anniversary of massive loot

CGTN | Updated: 2017-10-19 08:16

Old Summer Palace marks 157th anniversary of massive loot

Digital image created to restore the glory of Yuanmingyuan. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]

Beijing’s Old Summer Palace is marking the 157th anniversary of a massive sack during the Second Opium War, when thousands of Chinese cultural relics were either ruined or removed.

Located in the northwestern part of China’s capital city, the exquisite palace, known in Chinese as Yuanmingyuan, was extolled as the "Garden of Gardens" and the "Versailles of the East" during its heyday. It is renowned throughout the world for its grand and elegant landscape, with outstanding construction skills and extensive collection of gardens, architecture, art and historical treasures.

With a floor area of 350 hectares and building area of almost 200,000 square meters, Yuanmingyuan is composed of three gardens: Yuanmingyuan, Changchunyuan and Qichunyuan. In January 1988, it was named as a key national cultural relic protection site. And in the same year, the palace was officially opened to the public, who were able to visit free on Wednesday to mark the anniversary.

They had the opportunity to watch on-site excavation work conducted by professional archaeologists as well as attend experts' and scholars’ lectures on the park's history and cultural relics – all for free.

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