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Yuan Ming Yuan, The Ruins of ¡¶Garden of Gardens¡·

Yuan Ming Yuan, before its destruction, was referred to as the "Garden of Gardens", since it was a combination of gardens of different styles, Chinese and Western.

Yuan Ming Yuan consisted of three gardens. Yuan Ming Yuan (Garden of Perfect Splendour), Chang Chun Yuan (Garden of Eternal Spring) and Qi Chun Yuan (Garden of Gorgeous Spring). They covered 350 hectares.

Plan of the three-in-one garden, with Qi Chun Yuan in the front, Yuan Ming Yuan on the left, and Chang Chun Yuan on the right.

The southern part of the huge garden was occupied by palatial buildings, where emperors handled state affairs. Over the rest of the garden were scattered 40 scenic areas, which each consisted of smaller landscapes, 50 of them being imitation of garden, for example, were copies of the ten scenic spots of Hangzhou's West Lake with identical borrowed names.

The best-known Western structures were a fountain, a maze and European palaces, all of a Renaissance style. In a small lake was built a model of Venice.

The emperor's apartments were adorned with art treasures of an astonishing richness. The garden was beautified by millions of exotic flowers and trees.

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