October 18

This Day in History

General Interest

Oct 18, 1860:

Peking's Summer Palace destroyed

British troops occupying Peking, China, loot and then burn the Yuanmingyuan, the fabulous summer residence built by the Manchu emperors in the 18th century. China's Qing leadership surrendered to the Franco-British expeditionary force soon after, ending the Second Opium War and Chinese hopes of reversing the tide of foreign domination in its national affairs.

In the 1870s, Chinese Empress Dowager Cixi began rebuilding the palace and its stunning gardens, renaming it Yiheyuan, or "Garden of Good Health and Harmony." In 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion, the palace was burned again by Western troops, and it remained dilapidated until the Chinese Communists rebuilt it in the 1950s.

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