The Summer Palace in early winter

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The Summer Palace lies in the northwestern outskirts of Beijing, about 5 kilometers (3.11 miles) northwest of Beijing University. Occupying an area of 290 hectares, the park consists mainly of a hill, called Longevity Hill and a lake, Kunming Lake, with halls, towers, galleries, pavilions, bridges and islands dotted all over the land, hill and lake. Blending southern China-style garden architecture with northern China's natural landscapes, the gardens are probably the best of their kind in Chinese garden architecture. In December 1998, UNESCO included the Summer Palace on its World Heritage List. It declared the Summer Palace an "outstanding expression of the creative art of Chinese Landscape Garden Design, incorporating the works of humankind and nature in a harmonious whole." [Photo/China.org.cn]

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