The Summer Palace (Chinese: 頤和園), is a vast ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces in Beijing. It was an imperial garden in the Qing Dynasty. Mainly dominated by Longevity Hill (万寿山; 萬壽山) and Kunming Lake, it covers an expanse of 2.9 square kilometres, three-quarters of which is water.
Connecting the eastern shore of Kunming Lake and Nanhu Island in the west, the Seventeen-Arch Bridge was built during the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799). There are some thirty bridges in the Summer Palace and this is the largest one, with a length of 150 meters (164 yards) and a width of 8 meters (8.75 yards). It is not only the sole passageway to Nanhu Island, but also an important attraction in the lake area.
In December 1998, UNESCO included the Summer Palace on its World Heritage List. It declared the Summer Palace "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 ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value".