Chengde Summer Resort

The Summer Resort, or Bishushanzhuang (Feeling-the-Heat Mountain Villa), in the city is the largest ancient imperial park extant in the country. It is world-famous for incorporating the essence of China's classic landscaping.

The Summer Resort was built during the regions of Emperors Kangxi (1662-1722) and Qianlong (1736-1795) of the Qing Dynasty (1544-1911). With undulating mountains behind and the lakes in front, the Summer Resort covers 5.64 million square meters. The palace and luxuriant trees set each other off and the lake is dotted with islets. The mountain retreat consists of two parts—the palace area and the imperial gardens. It has 90 pavilions, 29 causeways and bridges, over 60 rockeries, 16 gardens and temples, covering a total of 100,000 square meters. In addition, there are 25 inscribed steles and rock inscriptions and 280 horizontal inscribed boards. The 36 scenic spots, for which Emperors Kangxi wrote inscriptions of four characters, and another 36 attractions, which Emperors Qianlong delineated with inscriptions of three characters, are found here and there in the area.

The Summer Resort combines the quintessence of different styles of landscaping of the North and South China, integrating the magnificence and simplicity of the garden architecture in the north and the elegance and exquisiteness of that of the south. Yanyulou (the Tower of Mist and Rain) and Jinshan (the Garden Hill) are exquisitely built epitomizing the scenery of South China, while the stately layout of the architectural complexes of the Pine and Crane Study and the Main Hall feature a northern style. The Ten Thousand Three Garden, with flying birds and wandering elks that add a flavor of the wilderness to the site, would remind visitors of grasslands and make them linger on, forgetting to return。

"Close at hand as the Mountain Resort is, it offers views from afar." To the northeast if the Summer Resort there are eight temples of the styles of different nationalities.

Magnificent and spectacular, these temples set the Summer Resort off as stars do the moon, symbolic of the exchange and integration of the cultures and arts of different nationalities in the country. They are also a symbol of the national unity and prosperity of the country during the regions of Emperors Kangxi and Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty.