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Beijing Tour Guide

·       Beihai Park
·       Beijing Airport
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·       Beijing Houhai Lake
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       Beijing Map and Population
·       Beijing Night Entertainment
·       Beijing Olympic Site
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·       Beijing Purple Bamboo Park
·
       Beijing Railway
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·       Beijing Ring Road
·      Beijing Ritan Park
·       Beijing Shopping
·       Beijing Subway System
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·      
Beijing Temple
·       Beijing Tourism
·      
Beijing Traffic
·       Beijing transportation
·      
Beijing Travel Tips
·       Beijing University
·      
Beijing Weather
·       Beijing Zoo and Aquarium
·       Capital Museum
·       Drum and Bell Towers
·       Forbidden City
·       Ming Tombs
·       Summer Palace
·       Temple of Heaven
·       Tiananmen Square
·       Temple of Confucius
·      Prince Gong's Mansion
·
       Yonghe Lama Temple
·
       798 Art Zone


Beijing Tour Guide: Beihai Park

The imperial gardens in downtown Beijing


Beihai Park is one of the oldest and best-preserved imperial gardens situated in the heart of the city near the Forbidden City and Jingshan Park. The garden covers an area of 69 hectares with a lake extending to over half of the grounds. Some of the park's scenic attractions include the White Pagoda, Hao Pu Creek, Jingxin Studio, Nine Dragon Screen, Five Dragon Pavilion and Circular City.

The Beihai area has been the site of an imperial pleasure garden since the Liao Dynasty, and different structures and layouts were built there in successive eras. It was Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty who undertook its most dramatic renovation. It was during his reign that Beihai Park came to its modern scale and grandeur. In 1925, after the fall of the Qing Dynasty, the park was opened to the public.

The park is comprised of four distinct scenic areas including Qionghua Islet (Jade Flower Islet), Circular City, the eastern bank area and the northern bank area. Qionghua Islet is located in the middle of the lake and considered the central axis of the park. The islet is densely populated with halls, rockeries, pavilions, the imposing White Pagoda and Yong'an Temple. White Pagoda, the symbol of the park towers over the Qionghua Islet. The Lamaist Pagoda, which stands 35.9m high, was built in 1651. Buddhist lections, alms bowl and sarira, and remains of Buddha (Sakyamuni) are laid in the Pagoda. Directly to the west are halls and pavilion where the emperors of the Qing Dynasty would come and rest, discuss official business and relax. Another impressive structure is Yong'an Temple (Temple of Everlasting Peace). It is the largest building complex comprised of several halls, a bell tower and a drum tower. North of the islet, there is a two-storey corridor that offers an extensive view of the area. Other major sites include Zhenjue Hall, the Bell and Drum Towers and Stone Tables of Qiongdao Chunyin, which was inscribed by Emperor Qianlong of the Qin Dynasty.

The southeastern part of the park is comprised of the Circular City and Chengguang Hall. A wall surrounds the city, where a beautiful garden lies inside. During the Ming Dynasty, Emperors would come and watch firework displays at Chengguang Hall. Then during the Qing Dynasty, it was converted into a Buddhist chapel. Today, a statue of white jade Buddha is still enshrined in the main hall. Directly across Chengguang Hall is a pavilion on which stands a magnificent carved nephrite bowl that used to belong to Kublai Khan - the only relic of the Yuan Dynasty structures that once stood there.

Beihai was opened to the public in 1925 and in 1961 it was one of the first important cultural sites placed under protection by the State Council. The park occupies an area of 69 hectares including a 39-hectare lake. In the garden, pavilions and towers nestle amid the beautiful scenery of lakes and hills,grass and trees. Carrying on the traditions of garden landscaping of ancient China Beihai is a gem of garden art

  

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