Imperial Summer Palace
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Having a free day on arrival in Beijing, some of us began our journey at the Imperial Summer Palace, known as the Garden of Nurtured Harmony in Chinese, one of the most noted classical gardens in the world. Originally built by the Jin dynasty (AD1115-1234), destroyed by fire in the 19th C., ordered rebuilt by the Empress Dowager Cixi, and finally opened to the public after the revolution of 1911. View from Longevity Hill across Kunming Lake. The hill was created when the man-made lake was first excavated.