The third and final stop on our organized tour today was the Summer Palace. The Summer Palace was built by the Empress Dowager, the only female ruler in China Dynasty history. Again, the dragon and phoenix motif was used throughout the grounds, which included a man-made lake, a man-make mountain, and a long covered pavilion around part of the lake so that the empress could walk along the lake without having to worry about the rain.
She also wanted a boat that could not be tipped over by the waves (the boat was thought to represent the kingdom), so she had one built on her lake our of marble.
The building on the edge of the lake rising up the hill was the temple where only she could worship. It is amazing the amount of work and resources had to go into the building of this and the other buildings that we saw today.