Imperialism, Opium, and Nationalism: A Walk and Discussion at the Old Summer Palace
The Old Summer Palace contain the ruins of Yuanmingyuan, one of a series of lavish imperial gardens destroyed in 1860 during the Second Opium War. Today the shattered pillars, stone foundations, and abandoned archways are a vivid reminder to visitors of the “Century of Humiliation” and the tragedy of imperialism in 19th-century China. The events of that century continue to play a role in shaping how China views the world today.
We will discuss the background to the Opium Wars and how the memories of the imperialist era are kept alive as part of China’s contemporary political culture. Along the way, we will wander the ruins and explore one of Beijing’s most beautiful historic parks. From May to October, we will also get a chance to see parts of the park by boat as well as by foot.
Upcoming Public Walks at the Old Summer Palace
300 RMB per person (260 RMB for members of The Hutong)
Price includes all guide fees and tickets
Consider a Private Tour!
Looking for a walk that fits your schedule? Interested in a personal experience for you or your group?
Private walks of the Old Summer Palace are available for individuals, families, school and company groups.
Private walks are 1700 RMB for up to five people and 125 RMB for each additional person. Price includes all guide fees and admission tickets.
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Your Walk Leader
Jeremiah Jenne is a writer and historian based in Beijing since 2002. He taught Chinese history and philosophy for nearly 10 years. He has written extensively on China for a number of publications including The Economist, The Atlantic Monthly, Journal of Asian Studies, Asia Society, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Beijinger, and the World of Chinese. His work can be found in the anthologies China in 2008: A Year of Great Significance, The Insider’s Guide to Beijing, and the 2015 collection While We’re Here: China Stories from a Writer’s Colony. He is a recurring guest on the public affairs podcast Sinica and is frequently asked to speak on Chinese culture and history to company and school groups. Jeremiah also maintains the popular history and culture website granitestudio.org.