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Historic office opens at Summer Palace

A CENTURY-OLD office where the late Qing Dynasty (1636-1911) emperors and officials received foreign ambassadors in Beijing's Summer Palace has opened to visitors.

The office, including two courtyards spreading over 8,300 square meters, opened yesterday after a two-and-a-half year restoration project, Beijing News reported.

Qing emperors normally lived in the Forbidden City where the government was based. They sometimes moved out of the city to retreat to the surburban Summer Palace, where smaller government offices were set up.

This office was where Empress Dowager Cixi received foreign ambassadors each year there from 1902 to 1909, Zhu Wei, vice director of the Summer Palace told Beijing News.

The office was later used by the military and had been occupied by a primary school since 1949.

The school was moved out in 2004 and the office returned to the administration of the Summer Palace.


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