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"The Summer Palace - Longevity Hill" Top 5 Page for this destination Summer Palace Tip by mke1963

Summer Palace, Beijing: 311 reviews and 620 photos

Above the Paiyundian, is the Foxiangge or Fragrant Buddha Tower, the most elegant building at the Summer Palace. Long flights of stone stairs zig-zag up to the tower, and the view from this point is superb, out over the lake and towards the nearby Western Hills.
The three-storey, four-tiered octagonal tower sits between a series of pavilions and buildings which once held important books, manuscripts and information about China. On the ground floor of the Foxiangge is a 5 metre high statue of a Bodhisattva. On the second and third floors, there are stunning murals and impressive inscriptions by a number of emperors.
Nearby is the Zhuanluncang, or Revolving Archive, set into the hillside. The two archive towers actually turned on their base, like huge carousels, to avoid the overworked, exhausted emperors having to actually doing any walking.
To the west of the Foxiangge is the famous Pavilion of Precious Clouds, a 200 tonne bronze pavilion, sat in the centre of the Wufangge or Five Square Tower buildings, a line of small pavilions. The bronze pavilion, cast in 1755, is on a tall marble platform, so it towers above the surrounding pavilions. On the first and fifteenth of each unar month, Lamaist monk would be summoned to conduct prayers around the little temple. It, and the Sea of Wisdom Temple were the only two structures left standing by the European troops - perhaps significant that these were the two most obvious religious buildings perhaps?
At the very top of the hill is the Zhihuihai or Sea of Wisdom Temple, a completely unique building in the Summer Palace. It is a brick structure, covered by green and yellow tiles. The outside wall is covered in niches holding little buddhas: many of the heads of these buddhas were smashed by the Europeans.
All along the ridge of the hill are simple and elaborate pavilions set among the wooded slopes and crags.

Address: Yiheyuan Lu, Northwest Beijing
Phone: +86 10 6288 1144

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  • Written Nov 13, 2004
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