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Yuanmingyuan to open core section to public

updated: 2008-07-30

The Ruins of Yuanmingyuan, also known as the Old Summer Palace, will open a part of its core area to the public for the first time this Tuesday.

Officials at the garden said Jiuzhou, which covers 400,000 square meters and consists of 14 scenic views, would be opened for the first time since the ancient imperial palace was built in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Jiuzhou Qingyan, the largest man-made islet in the garden that used to be the residence of the imperial family, will be the most attractive scenic spot at the site.

The Jiuzhou scenery region contains the essence of Yuanmingyuan's architecture and art. After more than four years of renovation and cleaning, it will be unveiled to visitors from both at home and abroad 10 days before the start of the Beijing Olympics.

The garden will not charge visitors an extra fee to enter Jiuzhou when it opens on Tuesday. By that time, four-fifths of the Yuanmingyuan Garden will be open for sightseeing. Its northern section will be renovated later this year and may open to visitors by 2010.

The Yuanmingyuan Garden was first built in 1707 during the reign of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty. It was destroyed by British and French troops in 1860 and again by allied forces of eight invading foreign powers in 1900.