Ming Emperor Yongle and the Ming dynasty Tombs, Beijing. When entering the great hall of the first Ming tomb, you see a statue of Emperor Yongle on his throne. He reigned from the late 14th century up to 1424. There are 13 similar tombs in the Beijing region. The buildings are now museums and many artefacts from the Ming Dynasty are on display. We visited three different tombs. The tombs are connected by the “Spirit Way”. This is a walking path on which every 50 to a 100 metres you encounter a giant Chinese statue. They show us warriors, animals and mythical creators.
Located in central Beijing, the Summer Palace is a sublime embodiment of Chinese horticulture. Dominated by Kunming Lake and the Longevity Hill, this historical complex came into existence in 1750 as a luxurious royal garden used for resting purposes. It became the main residence for the royal family of the Ming Dynasty before being destroyed by the Anglo-French allied force. Empress Dowager Cixi reconstructed the palace in 1888, and remained here till her death. The complex comprises lakes, palaces and gardens along with 3000 man-made ancient structures of towers, pavilions, bridges within its vast area of 742.8 acres. Exemplifying one of the finest garden architectural structures, this magnificent complex is divided into four parts, the Front Hill area, the Rear Hill area, the Court area and the Lake area. The southern slope of the Hill area is occupied with grand buildings, such as the Hall of Moral Glory, the Hall of Sea of wisdom, Bayoun Bronze Pavilion and Revolving Archives along with the Hall of Dispelling Clouds, decorated with marble balusters. The Rear Hill area is composed of lesser constructions and most parts of the section are in ruins. The Lake area occupies a large part within the complex. A long gallery, interspersed with bridges, pavilions and wharfs, connects the eastern and western causeways of the lake. The Seventeenth arch bridges, the Hall of Embracing Universe, the statue of Bronze Ox, the Nanhu Island and Marble Boat are the prime attractions within this area.
The Summer Palace (simplified Chinese: 颐和园; traditional Chinese:頤和園; pinyin: Yíhé Yuán) is a vast ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces in Beijing, China. The Summer Palace is mainly dominated by Longevity Hill and the Kunming Lake. It covers an expanse of 2.9 square kilometres (720 acres), three-quarters of which is water. Longevity Hill is about 60 metres (200 feet) high and has many buildings positioned in sequence. The front hill is rich with splendid halls and pavilions, while the back hill, in sharp contrast, is quiet with natural beauty. The central Kunming Lake covering 2.2 square kilometres (540 acres) was entirely man-made and the excavated soil was used to build Longevity Hill. In the Summer Palace, one finds a variety of palaces, gardens, and other classical-style architectural structures. In December 1998, UNESCO included the Summer Palace on itsWorld Heritage List. It declared the Summer Palace "a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value." It is a popular tourist destination but also serves as a recreational park.