china edition


Jingshan Park

Located to the east of Beihai Park and opposite the northern gate of the Forbidden City is Jingshan (hill of commanding views) Park. Covering a space of 23 hectares, this park was once an imperial garden during the Ming and Qing dynasties and was only open to the public in 1928.

This artificial hill with 5 peaks was built with the earth excavated when the moat of the Imperial Palace was dug. 5 pavilions with 5 bronze Buddhas were built on each peak in 1751 under Emperor Qianlong, however 4 of the Buddhas were removed by the troops of the Allied Expeditionary Force in 1900.

Jingshan ParkBy the north upper gate is the Beautiful View Pavilion (qiwanglou) where emperors would pay their respects at an altar to Confucius. Now, it serves as a cultural exhibition venue for paintings, calligraphy and porcelain.

The Pavilion of Everlasting Spring (wanchun) on top of the middle hill used to be the highest point in the city and provides beautiful views of the center of Beijing, the northern district with the Drum and Bell Towers and the Forbidden City. On the eastern slope is the scholar tree where the last Ming emperor Chongzhen (1628-1644), wracked with despair after rebels broke into the Forbidden City, took his own life. On the northern part of the hill is the Hall of Imperial Longevity (shouhuang), which has been transformed into the Beijing Children's Palace where youngsters can enjoy daily extracurricular activities in dancing, singing, music and art.