October 18 1860 Peking’s Summer Palace destroyed

Craig Hill

On October 18th 1860, British troops occupying Peking, China, looted and then burnt 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.

When the Jin Dynasty emperor Wányán Liàng (1122 – 1161) moved his capital to the Beijing area, he had a Gold Mountain Palace built on the site of the hill.

In the Yuan Dynasty, the hill was renamed from Gold Mountain to Jug Hill (Weng Shan).

This name change is explained by a legend according to which a jar with a treasure inside was once found on the hill.

The loss of the jar is said to have coincided with the fall of the Ming Dynasty as had been predicted by…

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