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Yuanmingyuan was a vast and magnificent royal garden built continuously by several emperors of the Qing Dynasty. Unfortunately, it was looted and burnt down by the Anglo-French forces in 1860 and suffered from continual damages later on. Because of its special significance in the Chinese history, the reconstruction of Yuanmingyuan has been argued for a long time and visitors could only imagine its fabled charms. With the help of augmented reality (AR) technology, we have digitally reconstructed Yuanmingyuan by designing and manufacturing a fixed-position device AR-View to provide a combined real and virtual image of Dashuifa (Great waterworks), a symbol of Yuanmingyuan. With the help of AR-view, the original exquisite architectures and fountains are superimposed upon the current ruins. The key technologies of mechanical tracking for registration and dual-channel eyepieces for stereo display are discussed. To solve the problems exposed during public trials, improvements of software and hardware for public use are also illustrated in this paper. Ergonomics and industrial design are involved to ameliorate the functions and appearance of the latest version of AR-View, making it more stable and convenient for public use. As the first application of augmented reality technology on a Chinese historical site, AR-View opens the door to the practical use of augmented reality in the area of digital reconstruction of historical sites in China.