Beijing - The Summer Palace 13
The Summer Palace in Beijing is the largest imperial garden in the world, a veritable museum of classical Chinese garden architecture. Its construction was initiated in 1750 by Emperor Qianlong as a birthday gift for his mother. It took 15 years to complete. The majority of the original buildings were destroyed by foreign troops during the plundering of Beijing in 1860. These were renovated in 1888 under the auspices of the Empress Dowager Cixi.