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

Lake-side gazebo

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