By Yan Pei and Sapna Maheshwari
The core area of the Old Summer Palace (now called Yuanmingyuan in Chinese), known as the Jiuzhou scenery region, opened to the public this morning for the first time since it was built more than 300 years ago.
A rock displaying the characters for "Old Summer Palace" was unveiled at the opening of the park's new section.
The Jiuzhou scenery, located in the west of the park, used to function as the residence for emperors of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). There are a total of 14 garden sites in the Jiuzhou scenery region. The most famous of these is Jiuzhou Qingyan, the largest man-made island in the whole park.
After four years of renovation, the Jiuzhou scenery managed to open just 10 days before the Beijing Olympics as a gift to the sports celebration. With the opening of the Jiuzhou scenery, more than 80 percent of the Old Summer Palace is now open to the public.