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Yuanmingyuan, 150 years after the fire
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Yuanmingyuan Part 1

By 1860, the Qing emperor Xianfeng had been on the throne for a decade. That year, he celebrated his birthday at Yuanmingyuan, the Summer Palace on the outskirts of Peking. However, it was not a happy occasion for the young emperor. His country was facing unprecedented threats, both internal and external.

Yuanmingyuan Part 2

At 8:00 in the morning of May 20th, 1858, two officers from the Anglo-French Allied Force arrived at Dagu Fort. They carried with them an demand that the commander of Chinese Forces Tan Yanxiang handed over the force within 2 hours. Teng ignored their demand.

Yuanmingyuan Part 3

With the imperial army and Sengge Linqin defeated, emperor Xianfeng informed his ministers that he had made two key decisions. He would depart the Yuanmingyuan summer palace to go hunting at Mulan and Rehe. His second decision was to point Prince Gong to remain in the capital city of Beijing to negotiate with the British and French armies.

Yuanmingyuan Part 4

French soldiers were the first to force their way into the Yuanmingyuan Summer Palace. The command of the Palace guard was killed in the fighting. Meanwile, Yixin, the Prince Gong, rather than attempting to take charge of the situation, fled through the railgate to Mount Wanshou. The French soon discovered the garden´s numerous treasure halls.

Yuanmingyuan Part 5

The Allied Anglo-French Force ignored Prince Gong´s proposal on Octorber 6th, started looting the Yuanmingyuan Palace. Pince Gong realized that the situation was now out of his control, released some prisoners included in the parks on October 8th, and the rest on 12th.

Yuanmingyuan Part 6

The French troops were through from Peking to Tianjin in November 1860. There, they spent much of their free time trading the spoils from Yuanmingyuan. 3 months later, works are presented by the French army to Emperor and put on a display in a tourist palace in Paris.

Yuanmingyuan Part 7

After the flame of Yuanmingyuan died down, the chief manager of imperal house Mingxian went to assess the damage. He noted all the halls and things on the original island have been destroyed, including the Hall of Honesty and Justice. Precious treasure escaped from the fire, has been looted.