If you’ve always wondered what Beijing’s Old Summer Palace actually looked like in its glory days, compared to its current ruins, you now can! The replica is located at Hengdian film studio, the largest open-air film studio in the entire world and is expected to be complete some time next year.

The film studio has recreated the entire imperial palace and gardens, including temples, statues, and iconic bridges. In total, the project has cost upwards of RMB 30 billion.

The Old Summer Palace has been in the news a lot recently, as China tries to return artworks and other historical relics that were stolen from the site during the Second Opium War. The latest objects identified as having been taken from the palace include paintings stolen from a collection in France.

The Old Summer Palace, or Yuanmingyuan, was built in 1707 under the reign of the Kangxi Emperor and is located in Haidian. It was looted and destroyed almost completely during the closing days of the Second Opium War by British and French troops.

The managers of the original palace’s site have threatened legal action against the film studio, and regardless of continuing construction, the park officially opened its doors to visitors last week.

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Photo: Daily Mail

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