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Chengde Imperial Summer Villa

Chengde Imperial Summer Villa is the largest extant ancient imperial garden compound in China. Located on the west bank of Wulie River in Chengde city of Hebei province, it has an area of 5,640 square m. It is a key cultural relic under state protection and an important scenic spot.

Chengde Imperial Summer Villa was built during the reign of Emperor Kangxi of the early Qing Dynasty to consolidate frontier defense and deal with the affairs of ethnic minorities in border areas. It is a garden with the characteristics of an imperial palace. It is not only a summer retreat but also a place with special commemorative significance. A number of major scenes in China are replicated in this Imperial Summer Villa. The lakes in the southeast model themselves on lakes in Jiangnan, the grassland in the north is a duplication of Mongolian grassland in northern China, the mountains in the west resemble plateaus and mountainous areas, and the palace wall on the mountains imitates Great Wall.

Eight Outer Temples of Chengde
Eight Outer Temples of Chengde are clusters of Lamaist temples around Imperial Summer Villa. There are altogether 11 temples. Eight of them used to be administrated by eight organizations - hence the name of "Eight Outer Temples". Now there are only seven left. The majority of them were built to accommodate Monglian and Tibetan nobility who went to visit Qing emperors. The temples have strong political and commemorative significance.

In terms of architectural style, the 11 temples can be classified into three types - Tibetan style, Han style and Han-Tibetan blending style. These temples embody the essence of the architectural arts of various nationalities like Han and Tibet. Graddiose and imperially imposing, the 11 temples with distinct styles were built by Qing government to promote unity with ethnic minorities in the regions of Monglia, Xinjiang and Tibet.

Reference data

Chengde Imperial Summer Villa was called Rehe Xanadu in history, conventionally known as Chengde Ligong. Its construction began in the 42nd year of Emperor Kangxi' reign and was completed in the 55th year of Emperor Qianlong's reign.
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