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The Chengde Summer Resot

Chengde City is located in the northeast part of Hebei Province, 230km from Beijing. Announced among the first 24 historical and cultural cities of the nation. Chengde has the largest existing royal garden on hisland:Mountain Resort and the outlying temples of various nationalities, which,in December of 1994,were inscribed in World Heritage List by World Heritage Committeeof UNESCO. The resort is also called “Tour Palace at Rehe Hot River”,first constructed in the 18th century during the term of Emperors Kangxi and Qianlong. It was the second political center apart from Beijing,for the emperor would stay here for about half a year to attend to political,military,ethnic,and foreign affairs. The design of the resort takes advantage of the natural and wild scenes for the carefully constructed buildings of over 120 groups, which integrate the features of both the northern meadows and the southern waterscape, in alayout of lake in the southeast,mountain in the northwest,and plain in the northeast.

The Resort is a symbol of the prosperity of Kangxi and Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty. As the founders of the resort, Kangxi and Qianlong, they all went to the south of the Yangtze River six times. In the process of construction, the summer resort integrates the garden style of North and South China, and summarizes and sublimates the Chinese classical garden art. Experts from China’s botanical garden said that the whole summer resort is a miniature of the beautiful motherland.

The resort covers an area of 564 square meters,almost half of Chengde’s urban area. It is enclosed by a wall 10 400 meters long. Construction began in 1703 under the rule of Emperor Kang Xi and was completed in 1790 under the rule of Emperor Qian Long. There are more than 100 buildings within the resort,which is divided into two sections: palace zone and garden zone. The Rehe,the shortest river in the world, only 14. 7 kilometers long。runs through the resort. The gardens are superbly designed to take in the very best of various styled gardens,integrating the features of both the northern meadows and the southern waterscapes,in a layout of lake in the southeast, mountain in the northwest,and plain in the northeast.

In the outlying area, 11 magnificent temples stand on the hills in a semi-circle. As they were divided into eight sections under the administration of the Beijing-based Har- mony and Peace Lama- sery(a monastery for la- mas),they were usually referred to as the“Eight Outer Temples”.Only seven temples,including Puren Temple,Temple of Summer、and Puning Temple  remain intact. They comprise the largest temple building complex existing in China. They were used by nobles of various ethnic minority groups who came to have an audience with the Qing emperors, and to reside and conduct religious activities. These temples,built on the hill slopes,look grand and splendid. The wood engraved Buddha in the Puning Temple,22. 28 meters tall,is the largest of its kind in the world. Its waist measures 15 meters and it has 42 arms. Some 120 cubic meters of wood,weighing some 110 tons,were used to make the Buddha.

The buildings of the resort were all built in blue bricks and gray tiles that are traditional and plain,whereas its outlying temples are all roofed with glazed color tiles that looks grand,golden,luxury,and glorious.

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