Most outstanding Chinese palace building to open

17:44, August 20, 2010      

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The Daming Palace National Heritage Park in Xi’an, covering a planned area of 3.2 square kilometers will officially be opened to the public in October 2010.

With a spectacular scale and complete structure, the palace is viewed as one of the most outstanding Chinese palace buildings. Starting from Emperor Gaozong of Tang, all of the emperors of Tang lived and handled government affairs in the Daming Palace. The palace had served as China’s political and cultural center for 220 years, where many major historical events of the Tang Dynasty took place.

The palace was built in the "Eight Years of Zhenguan" or 634 AD during the reign of Emperor Taizong and was originally called the Yong'an Palace. It was a summer palace that Li Shimin, Emperor of Taizong, built for his father Li Yuan, and its name was changed into the Daming Palace later.

The palace is 7,600 meters in diameter and 3.3 square kilometers in area, 4.5 times as large as Beijing’s Forbidden City. Historically, the Daming Palace had 11 gates. The Hanyuan Palace, which is the front and the largest palace of the Daming Palace, had a larger area than Tian’anmen Square.

As one of the first batch of historical and cultural relics under state protection, the Daming Palace heritage site has an exceptional historical, scientific and artistic value. In 2007, Xi’an, under the support of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, decided to implement the Daming Palace heritage site preservation and renovation project, building the Daming Palace National Heritage Park. The Project was listed as one of the major heritage site protection projects during the 11th Five-year Plan period, with investments exceeding 140 billion yuan.

The construction of the Daming Palace National Heritage Park is based on the royal cultural relics from the Tang Dynasty and other archaeological findings. It aims to build the park into “China’s largest open-air museum of ancient royal cultural relics.

The park is divided into four parts: the palace area, the garden area, the landscape area and service area. The palace and garden areas display not only achievements in archaeological excavation and heritage preservation but also the political characteristics and etiquette culture of the Tang Dynasty.

After the construction is completed, the park will be open to the public, and visitors will often see archaeologists there all year round because archaeological research into the Daming Palace will continue to last for more than 100 years.

The renovation project has basically restored the park to the way it looked during the Tang Dynasty and added some modern tourism elements to the park on the basis of cultural relics protection. Walking on the cultural landscape avenue that has already been built, tourists can enjoy the beautiful view of the Danfeng Square, the mirror-like water surface and reflections of palaces nearby, royal stone steps, a large courtyard and the Penglai Island of Gods.

The scenery can bring people’s minds back to the Tang Dynasty and let them feel the brilliant culture of the dynasty’s heyday. In the future, more buildings featuring the display of history and culture will be built in the park, including gardens showing ethnic harmony in the Tang Dynasty – Tibet Garden and Mongolia Garden, gardens showing the dream of one world – Japan Garden and Islam Garden, Tang Folk Customs Garden, Tang Singing and Dancing Garden, Tang Garden of Famous Flowers, Tang Painting and Calligraphy Garden, Royal Kitchen, Tang Teahouse and Wetlands Garden.

By Ye Xin, People's Daily Online


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