The Summer Palace is the largest and best-preserved imperial garden in China. Thus the Summer Palace, which served as a summer resort for Empress Dowager Ci Xi, is an important tourist destination of Beijing, China. It has been declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1998. According to UNESCO, the Summer Palace is "a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ... (more)