The Summer Palace is such a majestic and immense complex of pavilions, gardens, and views that I had to split it into 3 parts to be able to properly show its beauty. This is the second part of the series.
Longevity Hill stands in the middle of the Summer Palace and allows not only to admire the gardens and Kunming Lake but also see the landscape of Beijing in the distance. On the hill many imponent buildings with very creative names are present.
The history of the Summer Palace is very interesting as well as tragic: the palace was built in 1750 and was initially named Garden of Clear Ripples and served as imperial garden and temporary palace of the royal family in the Qing Dynasty.
In 1860, during the Second Opium War, the British and the French looted and burned down the palace in response to the torture and killing of two British envoys, a journalist and their escorts. The palace was then rebuilt and named Summer Palace in 1888.
The palace suffered more damage after the Boxer Rebellion, in 1900, against the Eight-Nation Alliance, which destroyed and looted the gardens. The gardens have been then rebuilt in 1902, and renovated in their current form in 1953.
Heading down the stone staircases of Longevity Hill and following the Long Corridor, the final and, in my opinion, most breathtaking part of the gardens can be reached.