Old Summer Palace (Yuanming Yuan)
Not to be confused with the Summer Palace, the Old Summer Palace is east of the Summer Palace and northwest of Central Beijing
, and when it was built in 1709, the surrounding area was rural. The Old Summer Palace is also known as Yuanming Yuan (Garden of Perfection and Light). Its halls were filled with Chinese art and antiquities, and its gardens said to have been lush. In 1860, during the Second Opium War, British and French forces marched from the coastal city of Tientsin (Tianjin), a foreign concession, and looted and then destroyed the palace. What remains today are ruins, and though the history of the place is sad, the former palace, surrounded by greenery in the summer and snow in the winter, is quite beautiful.