A History of Zhuhai’s New Yuanming Palace

Old Yuanming Palace

You probably have heard about the Old Summer Palace (圆明园-Yuánmíng Yuán) in Beijing, originally called the Imperial Gardens (御园 –  Yù Yuán), but not the New Yuanming Palace.

The Old Summer Palace was a complex of palaces and gardens that were constructed throughout the 18th and early 19th centuries, serving as the main imperial residence of many Emperors of the Qing dynasty.

State affairs were handled here, whereas the Forbidden City was used for formal ceremonies. The Old Summer Palace is widely seen as a great wonder of China’s architectural history and Chinese imperial garden and palace design. Furthermore, it was known for its extensive collection of gardens, the building architecture and various art and historical treasures. Unfortunately, it was burned down and destroyed during the Second Opium War in 1860 by British and French troops.

Yuanming Palace Garden in Zhuhai

New Yuanming Palace in Zhuhai

For the sake of memorialising this wonder, the New Yuanming Palace was built as a reminder of the glory and the bitter history of ancient China. Located on the foot of Lanpu Dashilin Mountain, covering an area of 1.4 square kilometres, the New Yuanming Palace is a reproduction of the imperial Yuanming Palace in Beijing.

Built and opened to the public in 1997, it recreates 18 sites of the Old Summer Palace in the old construction style on a 1:1 scale while combining it with modern architecture, including the complex of royal palaces, Fuhai Lake, Royal Food Street as well as various kinds of shops. Although the total area only makes up about 1/6 of the area of the original Old Summer Palace, it’s still one of the most visited tourist attractions in Zhuhai, attracting millions of visitors every year.

Yuanming Palace Building

InternChina – Yuanming Palace Building

There are performers all around the park dressed up as soldiers and court ladies and you can even get your pictures taken dressed up as Chinese aristocracy. Every evening there are always great shows at the big outdoor theatre, which can fit up to 5,000 people. If you like, you can also rent a pedal boat to have a take a turn on the lake.


Location: Jiuzhou Road, Zhuhai City, Guangdong Province, China

Admission: Free

Admission for shows: 70 Yuan (day), 120 Yuan (night)

Opening Hours: 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM (April – October), 8:30 AM – 9:00 PM (November – March)

Transportation: Buses 1, 13, 14, 25, 30, 40, 60, 62, 69, 201 to New Yuanming Palace Stop


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