Originally built during the 12th century, the foundations of the Yuanmingyuan Park (Old Summer Palace), also known as the “Garden of Perfect Brightness,” was once the most extolled garden in the world. Emperors and royal family members would come to this location to enjoy the peaceful sway of trees as well as the gentle ripples of water. With an area of over 350 hectares (40 percent being water), this lovely vacation spot had over 140 scenic attractions and over 200 florid buildings making it the largest royal garden during that era.
Starting in 1709, major renovation feats were initiated under Qing Emperor Kangxi.
Throughout the 18th century, further generations of emperors contributed more and more to the garden. Emperor Qianlong,in one case, hired Jesuit architects to construct an interlocking-designed garden. Many sections of the Summer Palace were built in a European style that mirror
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