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Jingshan Park

Updated:2008-06-06 10:03 | Source:

  The Coal Hill Park lies right to the north of the Palace Museum. It used to be a private garden of the imperial family. When the Imperial Palace was built in the early Ming Dynasty, the earth excavated to make the moat was piled up, and five peaks took shape. Coal was once heaped around the foot of the hill, it is therefore also known as Coal Hill. In Qianlong's time, fruit trees grew and birds were raised in the grounds, the place was then called the Hundred Fruits Garden. Feudal emperors came here to climb the hill, attend the banquets, shoot arrows, and enjoy flowers as well. The hill is just behind the Forbidden City. It used to be a natural screen. In the Ming and Qing dynasties, it was regarded as "Dominating Hill", a symbol of stability of the feudal rulers. Five pavilions were later built on the ridges, From east to west they are: Guanmiaoting (Wonderful View Pavilion), Zhoushangting (Surrounding View Pavilion), Wanchunting (Everlasting Spring Pavilion), Fulanting (Panoramic View Pavilion) and Jifangting (Harmonious Fragrance Pavilion). From the hilltop, visitors can have a bird's-eye view of the city. There used to be a bronze statue of a god in each of the pavilions. Unfortunately four of them were stolen by the allied forces of the eight powers in 1,900, and the one on the uppermost pavilion was totally damaged.

  Entering the front gate, you come to Qiwanglou (Chamber of Beautiful Expectation) which stands with its back to the hill 43 metres high. In the old days there was a Confucius' shrine in the building, where the Qing officials and scholars paid their respects to him. It is now a gift shop.

  On your way up the hill from the eastern slope, you will come across a locust tree right below the Wonderful View Pavilion. There was formerly an old locust tree from which the last Ming emperor Chongzhen hanged himself when a peasant army led by Li Zicheng broke into Beijing in 1644. A new tree has been planted to mark the site.

  On top of the hill, you will find the park located on the meridian line. It starts from Yongdingmen Gate at the southernmost city limit and runs northward through the Front Gate, Tian'anmen, the Forbidden City to the Everlasting Spring Pavilion and leads on to the Drum Tower and Bell Tower to the north. Looking southward on a bright sunny day, the yellow glazed-tile roofs of the Forbidden City glitter like thousands of gilded fish-scales under the sun. To the southwest lies the North Sea, Middle Sea and the South Sea. Further to the west is the White Dagoba which emerges on the island in Beihai Park like a maiden in her white sari, pretty, elegant and graceful. At night, the scene is unusually striking.

  Behind the hill is Shouhuangdian (Hall of Imperial Longevity) where the portraits of the ancestors of the Qing court were housed. To its east is Guandedian (Hall of View of Virtue) used as a temporary resting-place for deceased emperors before burial.

  The Coal Hill Park was opened to the public in 1928. After liberation, the buildings were renovated and flowers and fruit trees were planted. The Hall of Imperial Longevity was turned into a Children's Palace. Now the Coal Hill Park has become one of the popular holiday resorts for the people of Beijing.

  (Source: http://www.ebeijing.gov.cn/Tour/ScenicSpots/)

Editor : Zhu Jia

Opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics