Location: 44 Jingshan W. Street, Xicheng District, Beijing, China
Reasons to visit: Best place to have an overlook on the panoramic view of the Forbidden City
Our Ratings: ★★★★
Opening Hours: 6:30-21:00 (April to October); ticket sale ends at 20:30
6:30-20:00 (November to next March); ticket sale ends at 19:30
Jingshan Park is located in the north of the Forbidden City on the central axis of Beijing. Here you can have an overlook on the panoramic view of the Forbidden City. During the Yuan (1271-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, Jingshan Park served as an imperial garden and was properly laid out under the Ming Dynasty when numerous fruit trees were planted as well as many palaces and pavilions built for the emperor to make sacrifices to his ancestors. As a result, the royal families always enjoyed amusements here, like hunting in the hills. Then, in 1928, it was opened to the public. Later, after 1949, the park was fully rebuilt, with the paths in it paved and most of the buildings renovated. Now, the present is one of the 'AAAA' Scenery Spots in China and a 'must' for visitors to Beijing.
History of Jingshan Park
Jingshan's history dates to the Liao and Jin dynasties, almost a thousand years ago. The 45.7-meter (150 ft) high artificial hill was constructed in the Yongle era of the Ming dynasty entirely from the soil excavated in forming the moats of the Imperial Palace and nearby canals. It is especially impressive when one considers that all of this material was moved only by manual labor and animal power. Jingshan consists of five individual peaks, and on the top of each peak there lies an elaborate pavilion. These pavilions were used by officials for gathering and leisure purposes. These five peaks also draw the approximate historical axis of central Beijing.
The Chongzhen Emperor, the last ruler of the Ming dynasty, committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree in Jingshan in 1644 after Beijing fell to Li Zicheng's rebel forces.
What to See in Jingshan Park
Yee watchtower is located in the south gate of J Park. During the reign of Emperor Kangxi in Qing Dynasty, the emperor often greeted the civil and military officials, tribal chiefs, and ministers of the tribes in Beijing. In the fifteenth year of the Qing Emperor Qianlong (1750), the emperor ordered the demolition of the hall in Ming Dynasty and built the Yee watchtower on the basis of the original site. Yee watchtower is built on the mountain. It faces the south and is divided into upper and lower floors. Confucius tablets were enshrined in the building, and the Qing Dynasty official school students worshipped Confucius here.
Ridge Five Pavilion
Jingshan consists of five mountain peaks which are the commanding height in the old Beijing city, and there are mountain climbing roads on the east, west, and north sides. The five pavilions on the top of the mountain were built in the fifteenth year of the Qing Emperor Qianlong (1750). They are beautifully shaped and beautiful.
Built in Ming Dynasty, Shouhuang Temple is located in the north of Zhongfeng. In the past, it was mainly used to worship the ancestors of the Qing dynasties, and later transformed into the Beijing Children's Palace.
Yong'en Temple was the place where the emperors of the Ming Dynasty studied, and later changed to the place where the emperor was in the coffin. Later, Yongen Temple transformed into the Children's Palace Library.
The Peony Garden is located in the south of the Guande Temple gate and is the largest garden for viewing peony in the capital. Every year in May, 200 varieties are competing with each other.
How to Get to Jingshan Park
West Gate: Take bus 5 or 58 and get off at Xibanqiao Station
North Gate: Take bus 5 or 58 and get off at Jingshan Houjie Station
East Gate: Take bus 58, 111, 124 or Sightseeing Bus 3 and get off at Jingshan Dongmen (the east gate of Jingshan Park) Station
South Gate: Take bus 58, 101, 103, 109, 124, 128 or Sightseeing Bus 1, 2, or 3 and get off at Gugong (Forbidden City) Station.
Take Subway Line 8 to Shichahai Station. Get out from Exit C and then walk south for about 914m (1000 yards) to the north gate of the park. From Shichahai Subway Station, visitors can also take bus 5, 60, 82, 107, 124, or Sightseeing Bus 3 to the park.