China 2006 - Beijing Summer Palace I
One of the nicest places in all of Beijing is the Summer Palace, an area of hills and a large lake in northwest part of the city. It was built mostly by the Empress Dowager Cixi in the late 1800s, using money that was supposed to be used be for Naval training (hence the huge lake).
An unusual animal guarding the main entrance
Yinan guarding the smoking pot
Lions also on guard
Main government building at the palace - the Empress received guests here and handled official paperwork here
Throne in the middle of the building
Pretty 17 arch bridge over lake
One of many colorful gates
Unusual gates - with big concrete structure at the bottom and traditional buildings on top
Older gate, needing a bit of paint
Lawn care - a small army of women were replacing the grass around the lake, in preparation for summer, I guess.
Pretty traditional bridge at the end of the lake
Side view of steps
Yinan pondering how steep these are - not for the faint of heart !
Long lakeside walkway with lots of intricate paintings
Other paintings in the area
Another colorful gate
and a holy wall