Court Area
Hall of Benevolence and Longevity (Renshou Dian)


First built in the 15th year of Emperor Qianlong’s reign (1750) during the Qing dynasty, this building was named the Hall of Diligent Government when the whole Summer Palace area was called the Garden of Clear Ripples. In the 12th year of Emperor Guangxus reign (1886), the Hall was rebuilt where it had been before the Anglo-French Allied Forces burned it down in the 10th year of Emperor Xianfengs reign (1860). Citing the saying the benevolent enjoy longevityfrom the Analects of Confucius, it was renamed the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity. This was where Empress Dowager Cixi and Emperor Guangxu handled court affairs, accepted laudations and received foreign diplomats during their stay in the Summer Palace. As such, it was the Summer Palaces main government building.1898Emperor Guangxu met Kang Youwei,leader of the reformers,and appointed him reform counselor,declaring an institutional reform.