An extravagant Summer Resort, built for Emperors. Empress Dowager, Cixi, in the late 19th century was given money to spend on improving the navy. Instead she built a huge Marble Boat on the grounds of the Summer Palace for entertaining. This diversion of funds may have contributed to the inability of China to defend herself from the British and French, and the loss of power at the turn of the 20th century.
We went during a national holiday, in October, and it was rather crowded, so it was not as wonderful an experience as we had hoped. But that was due to the huge crowds, not the lack of things to see. You may wish to see this in late fall when many tourists have gone home.
This is a good attraction for the disabled as there are extremely few stairs to negotiate.
A "Bucket List", Gotta See, attraction.