For those interested in Ruins, few people realize that there are some fantastic ruins right in Beijing. Many people go out to see the Summer Palace and do not realize that there was an older Summer Palace known as the Yuanming Yuan laid out in the 12th Century. It is not far from the new Summer Palace built in the 18th century by the Emperor Qianlong. After the Opium War of 1860 it was rebuilt and enlarged by Empress Dowager Cixi. The Old Summer Palace was destroyed by the French and British troops who vandalized it taking many of the artifacts and shipping them home to museums. The Palace was laid out to look like a European-style palace and gardens. Above you see the elaborate fountains and baroque statuary amongst the broken columns and marble pieces. Near by is an artful reproduction of a former labyrinth called the Garden of Yellow Flowers. The whole complex covers 2 sq. miles and remains as it was after being destroyed. I am presently working on a tour itinerary that will include Sculpture Parks and classical ruins of China and will be ready for the 2012 tourist season. Tours of China has been our business since 1992 and we have researched on site personally all through China since 1989 with over 50 working trips. We do private Custom Tours for individuals and groups who come to us with their personal interests and needs. Let us plan a tour just for you.