In 1703, Qing Emperor Kangxi decided to build his summer resort in Chengde due its proximity to the capital of Beijing. The complex construction took 87 years and within the resort there are more than 20 buildings scattered throughout the grounds. These buildings house more than 100 individual halls, pavilions, studios, pagodas and terraces. Every year both the Qing emperors Kangxi and Qianlong spent six months handling government affairs from here whilst enjoying the cool air, away from the sometimes oppressive heat of Beijing. After the dynasty was overthrown in 1911 the resort was abandoned and fell in to a state of disrepair. In 1961, The Mountain Resort was listed as a major historical monument under the state protection and allocated a large sum of money to have it restored.
The Puningsi Temple is one of the Waibamiao (Eight Outer Temples) of Chengde. It was built in 1755 by Emperor Qianlong to commemorate his victory over the Dzungar people and to memorialize his hope that a period of universal peace would prevail. The temple is supposedly built in imitation of the Sangye monastery in Tibet, though the architectural features are mostly Chinese with some Tibetan elements. The main hall of the temple, the Dachengge, contains a standing Buddha image of Guanyin which, at over 24 meters tall, is the largest of its kind in China.