New Summer Palace opens in Hengdian

Updated: 2015-04-14 16:13

By Yan Yiqi in Hangzhou(

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New Summer Palace opens in Hengdian

An artist's impression of the new replica of Beijing's Old Summer Palace. [Provided to]

A replica of the Old Summer Palace, also known as Yuanmingyuan, constructed in Hengdian, Zhejiang province, will open partially from May 10.

Built to the scale of the one in Beijing destroyed in 1860 by British and French forces; it features 95 percent of the original architecture.

Built in 1707, the Old Summer Palace served as a garden for the royal family of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It was known as the "garden of all gardens" for its architectural diversity, including classic western royal court-style buildings. The new garden, construction of which began in May 2012, covers an area of 6,200 mu (413 hectares).

Total investment reached about 30 billion yuan ($5 billion). Xu Wenrong, founder of the Hengdian Group which initiated the project, said he hopes the reconstruction will enhance people's understanding of traditional Chinese culture.

"The relics of the Old Summer Palace in Beijing remind us of the history of being invaded, while the new one will showcase the glories of ancient wisdom and creativity," he said.

The palace is divided into Spring Park, Summer Park, Autumn Park and Winter Park, containing 100 small gardens. Spring Park, which opens next month, comprises 45 gardens in different styles.

The remainder of the complex is expected to be complete by the end of next year.

Ancient will meet modern with technology, including LED lighting and lasers, being installed. The new palace is expected to host 10 million tourists during its first three years of operation.

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