Chengde Summer Resort & Its Surrounding Temples in Hebei
In 1994 December, Chengde Summer Resort, Hebei was honored as "World Cultural and Natural Heritage" by the UN Organization of Science, Education and Culture.
Also known as Chengde Li Palace and Rehe Imperial Palace, the Summer Resort is situated in the north part of the city center of Chengde, Hebei. It is here that the emperor of Qing dynasty to spend summer holidays and handle governmental affairs. It was originally built in Kangxi 42nd year (1703), and finished in Qianlong 57th year (1792). The total acreage is 5640 thousand m2, with a building area of about 100 thousand m2, and there are more than 110 construction sites and all together 184 scenic spots (including the 36 sites titled by Kangxi and Qianlong); the winding palace wall is more than 190 km long; it is the biggest ancient emperor palace now exist in China.
The Summer Resort is take the simple and subtle smell of the suburb as its style, it relies on the original color of the natural elements, features the charm of south Changjiang River, the scale is a astonishment. The palace wall is not painted in red, but the natural color of the local material; the palace imitated the layout of the courtyard of northern China, it is too, simply decorated, featuring blue bricks and tiles, it provides a drastic contrast with the style of the Forbidden City. The Summer Resort can be divided into Palace area and park area. Palace area is the place where the emperor took care of the governmental affairs, held celebration and rest , it is 100 thousand m2 large, comprising the main palace, Songhe Qi, Wanghe Songfeng and East Palace four parts. Park area can again be divided into Huzhou zone, plain zone and mountains zone. Huzhou zone features countless islands, ripple lakes, it is famed as a land flowing with milk and honey in south Changjiang River. In the northeast corner, located Qing spring, it is the famous Rehe spring. The west of plain zone is a land of green grass, it can remind you the landscape in Mongolia; to the east, the old trees are in dominant position, it resembles the phenomenon of Great Xingan Mountains. The entire Summer Palace is a collection of the natural landscapes throughout the country; it integrates the characters of scenes across the country; it is an improvement of the architectural style of the whole country.
To the east and north of the Summer Palace, distributed the grand and huge temple constructions, this is what famed as Waiba Temple. They were constructed during Kangxi 52nd year (1713) to Qianlong 45th year (1780). They are: Anda Temple, Puning Temple, Xumifusi Temple, Putuozongcheng Temple, Shuxiang Temple. Waiba Temple features the artistic style of the palace in Han dynasty and creates the standard architectural style in temple for China.The main building in Waiba Temple consists of Pule Temple, Puning Temple, Xumifusi Temple. Xuguang Hall, the theme architecture of Pule Temple, enjoys an elegant charm, just like a duplicate of Qinian Palace in Beijing. The figure of Kwan-yin with a thousand arms and eyes in Dachengzhi Hall of Puning Temple, is 23.511 meters high and 110 tons heavy, it is the biggest wooden Buddhist statue in the world. Xumifushou Temple is the place where the 6th Panchen taught his doctrines. Its main architecture, Miaogaozhuangyan Palace, is beautiful and imposing, on the four ridges crouch two vivid dragons. Putuozongcheng Temple is an imitation of the Potala Palace in Tibet, and it is known as the small Potala Palace.