Beijing Beihai Park, China

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Beihai Park

Located at the center of Beijing, the Beihai Park was built in the Northern Liao Dynasty (907A.D. ~ 1125A.D.). It occupies an area of 680,000 square meters, half of which is the lake area. It had been the imperial garden for a long time. Now it is the oldest and best-preserved imperial garden in China.

The landscape in Beihai Park consists of three main parts. Tuancheng City is the major scenic spot in the south. Yong'an Temple, White Pagoda and Yuexin Hall are the main scenes in the middle. Wulong Pavilion, Xiaoxitian, and Jingxin Hall are the main scenes in the north.

When you step into the south entrance of the park and look as far as your can, you will find verdant trees and splendid palaces on Qionghua Islet. The islet is located in the south of Taiye Pond. Yong'an Temple, Falun Hall and Zhengjue Hall are the major scenic spots in the south of the park. Connected with the bank in the southeast by a stone bridge, It shines jointly with Jingshan Hill and Forbidden City.

A stone tablet written by Emperor Qianlong in Qing Dynasty (1644A.D. ~ 1911A.D.), erects in the depth of the woods. The buildings and the corridors on the hill are reflected in the water, which forms a beautiful landscape. There are more halls and towers in the west side of the park. One of the halls houses the precious inscription which was made during the reign of Qianglong (1736 ~ 1796A.D.) in Qing Dynasty.

The 36-meter-high White Pagoda in Yong'an Temple was built in 1651. It is a symbolic architecture in Beihai Park. When you stand on top of the White Pagoda Hill, you can clearly see City of Beijing. From here you can easily identify the Forbidden City. Smooth lake and weaving boats in the north and Xishan Hill in the west, such scenery can surely make you forget all worries and heighten your spirit.

The Beihai Park is a former imperial park. It's one of the most beautiful places in Beijing. Beside the beautiful scenery, you can also find various cultural relics and unique architectures. The ancient park is not only a favorite place of the old and the young but also a place of interest for tourists from home and abroad.

The construction of the Beihai Park originated from an age-old legend. Tradition has it that there were three fairy mountains (Mt. Penglai, Mt. Yingzhou, and Mt. Fangzhang), on which immortals lived. Ever since Chinese first Emperor, nearly every emperor in different dynasties had the dream of being immortal. Later, Emperor Hanwu in Han Dynasty ( 220A.D.) ordered to dig a vast pond in the north of Chang'an City and named it "Taiyechi Pond". On the pond, three artificial hills were heaped, which were named after the three immortal mountains mentioned above. Since then, emperors in each dynasty were fond of constructing their imperial gardens into the style of "Three Hills in A Pond".

The Beihai Park is such a case. Beihai stands for Taiyechi Pond, Qionghua Islet for Penglai Mountain, Tuancheng City, and Xishan Terrace in the water for Yingzhou Mountain and Fangzhang Mountain. There are many traces of praying to immortals in the park, such as Lugong Cave, Xianren Temple, and Tongxianchenglu Tray.

The pagoda was constructed on a brick-made sumern base, on which stands a terrace of three levels. Under the pagoda some Buddhist articles were kept, such as niche, altar, and so on. The White Pagoda is a Lama Pagoda. It was destroyed by earthquake in 1679 and 1731 and rebuilt twice.

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