Tianjin, China – A mountain resort fit for Emperors.

Tianjin is one of the five national central cities in People’s Republic of China. Historical relics, natural scenery, temples, churches, assembly halls and commemorative sites of the Chinese revolution illuminate Tianjin’s past, present and future.  Its close proximity to Beijing capital made it an ideal location for palaces outside Beijing during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Tianjin has European-style architecture, many grand buildings and mansions, lively antiques markets and ancient temples and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Mountain Resort and its Outlying Temples.

Frasers Hospitality TianjinMountain Resort and its Outlying Temples, Chengde – Known for having the largest imperial garden and temple complex, the Mountain Resort was established by the Qing Dynasty emperors as a summer resort and hunting ground. In a move to enhance the country’s defence capabilities at the northern borders and simultaneously extend its power in the Mongolian region, the Qing emperors chose to build the Mountain Resort on Chengde. Every year, the emperor would travel to the resort to hunt for game, with a massive entourage which included the ministers, the Eight Standard Royal troops, and his family and concubines.

Located in Hebei Province, the Mountain Resort and its outlying temples is about a 4-hour drive from Modena Heping Tianjin. Receiving the status as a World Heritage Site, the Mountain Resort and its Outlying Temples are a remarkable example of the harmonious integration of Chinese buildings into the natural landscape.

Photos of Imperial Summer Palace of Mountain Resort, Chengde
This photo of Imperial Summer Palace of Mountain Resort is courtesy of TripAdvisor

The Mountain Resort is divided into two main areas, namely the Palace Area and the Landscape Area. The Palace Area has four main sectors, the Main Hall, the Songhe Hall, the Wanhe Songfeng Palace, and the East Palace. When in use, the Main Palace was used to host important ceremonies and events while the Songhe Hall was the residence for the empress. The Wanhe Songfeng Palace was the emperor’s reading room and where he managed his administrative matters. The East Palace is the least intact among the palaces because it was damaged in a fire in 1945. Although the palaces are not extravagantly designed, visitors can still feel a dash of imperial solemnity presented by the traditional simple Chinese style of the palaces.

The Landscape Area consists of the Lake Area, the Plain Area, and the Mountain Area. Visitors can expect to see the resort’s most beautiful scenery at the Lake Area. Located in the south-eastern part of the resort, the Lake Area is a series of buildings set in a landscape of eight scenic lakes (West, Chenghu, Ruyi, Upper Lower, Silver, Mirror, and Crescent), and the design resembles those found in the southern region of the Yangtze River.

The Plain Area, situated to the north of the resort, is a landscape of a harmonious blend of eastern forests and western grasslands. The eastern forests, popularly known as the Ten Thousand Tree Garden, served as an important political centre where the emperor received important guests. Here visitors can also explore the magnificent Wenjin Hall, one of the four largest imperial libraries in China.

Photos of Imperial Summer Palace of Mountain Resort, Chengde
This photo of Imperial Summer Palace of Mountain Resort is courtesy of TripAdvisor

The Mountain Area lies in the north-western part of the resort. It comprises of four huge spectacular ravines: Zhengzi, Songlin, Lishu, and Songyun. 40 groups of ancient halls, pavilions, temples and monasteries dot the mountain slopes and valleys creating a serene and picturesque image.

Apart from the gorgeous design of the Mountain Resort, visitors will also be amazed by the magnificent Outlying Temples. Located in the northeast of the Mountain Resort, the 12 Outlying Temples were built more than two hundred years ago to host different ethnic envoys in China such as the Mongolians and the Tibetans. They were also given the nickname of “Eight Outer Temples” as the temples were governed by eight administrations.

The 12 Outlying Temples are: the Boren Temple, Boshan Temple, Puning Temple, An’yuan Temple, Pule Temple, Puyou Temple, Putuozongcheng Temple, Guang’an Temple, Suxiang Temple, Luohan Hall, the temple for praying happiness and longevity, and Kuixing Attic. Out of the initial 12, only seven temples containing traces of the ancient art and culture of the Hans, Mongolians, and Tibetans remain today. The Guang’an Temple, Boshan Temple, and Kuixing Attic are completely destroyed while the Puyou Temple and Luohan Hall have been severely damaged.

An interesting fact – the main gates of the temples face the royal palaces, symbolizing the unification of different nationalities in China under the central rule of the emperor. There are generally two different architectural styles across the temples, the Han-style and the Tibetan-style. Majestic and famous for its artistry, the Outlying Temples housed many impressive Buddha statues, paintings, inscriptions, and musical instruments. If you are pressed for time and can only visit one temple, make sure it’s Putuozongcheng Temple. One of China’s largest temples, it is adorned with copper tiles and has a gold-plated roof! Another highly recommended temple is the Puning Temple as it has the world’s largest woodcarving figure of the Chinese deity – Goddess of Mercy.

Opening Hours: 8:00am-5:30pm
Admission Fee:  120 RMB (Apr.16 – Oct.15), 90 RMB (Oct.16 – Apr.15)

Make Modena Heping Tianjin your choice of accommodation in Tianjin. Located in the heart of Tianjin, within walking distance to the city’s dining, shopping and entertainment centre, Modena Heping Tianjin is coveted for its location as well as delivery of a refreshing lifestyle. The first Modena Boutique Hotel Residence in China, it is poised to set a new benchmark in innovation. A fusion of business and leisure, the 104-room boutique hotel residence is a place which you can call your very own. With a host of well planned facilities such as the comprehensive 24/7 gym, Nintendo Wii facilities, laundromat, café and deli and a well-designed apartment that comes with a state of the art home entertainment system, clear working space and a high-tech wired living environment, Modena Heping Tianjin provides a living environment which is second to none.

Frasers Hospitality Tianjin

Frasers Hospitality Tianjin

Frasers Hospitality Tianjin

Frasers Hospitality Tianjin

Frasers Hospitality Tianjin

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