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Emperor Qianlong's favorite reading place getting a face-lift

China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-22 08:01


Emperor Qianlong's favorite reading place getting a face-lift

Beihai Park's Yilan Hall in Beijing is to opene to the public on Thursday.[Photo/Xinhua]

An imperial garden in downtown Beijing's Beihai Park opened to tourists after a restaurant that had operated for 60 years was moved out as part of a campaign to protect the city's cultural heritage.

Yilan Hall, whose history spans more than 260 years, is a cluster of buildings designed in the architectural style of the Jinshan Temple in Jiangsu province. It was the preferred reading place for Emperor Qianlong, an 18th-century ruler of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

In the 1950s, the Fangshan restaurant and hotel opened in the building, offering "emperor's dishes". Taking advantage of the historical setting, the hotel, which boasted a lake view, earned fame by providing customers with a taste of Qing luxury. It had 11 small private dining rooms.

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