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Beihai Park

Nine-Dragon Screen in Beihai ParkBeihai Park (North Sea) is one of the most popular parks in the city of Beijing. It encompasses over 68 hectares(168 acres), more than half of it is taken up by the lake (area of the surface of the water is 380,100 square metres). Early in the 10th century, the Liao Dynasty built a secondary imperial residence here, called Yaoyu or Jade Islet. When the Jin took over, they renamed the capital Zhongdu, meaning Central Capital, and built an imperial palace. Qionghua (Jade Flowery) Islet was built of earth dug out from the lake, and the rocks used for piling on the hill were brought from Kaifeng, Henan Province.

History of Beihai Park

During the Yuan Dynasty, Beihai Park was rebuilt three times,  and Guanghandian or the Palace in the Moon where Kublai Khan used to live and many other palace buildings were built on top of the hill. It was in this palace that Kublai Khan received Marco Polo. Unfortunately it was destroyed. The Islet became the center of Dadu (Great Capital) and is still situated in the heart of modern Beijing. The Ming Dynasty saw more construction and renovation: the Five-Dragon Pavilions and the Nine-Dragon Screen on the north bank of the lake and many pavilions and galleries were erected during that period. From the White Dagoba, visitors can have an excellent view of the Five-Dragon Pavilions standing on the opposite bank of the lake, with colorful ferry boats travelling back and forth between the shores. During the reign of Emperor Qianlong, construction lasted for 30 years. The project included many other pavilions, halls and terraces which made Beihai Park even more harmonious in design.The White Dagoda in Beihai Paik

Beihai Park

The layout of Beihai Park is based on an ancient Chinese legend. According to the legend, there were supposed to be three islands to the east of Bohai Bay where the gods lived. One of them was called Penglai Island where a kind of herbal medicine grew, that was supposed to prolong life. The first emperor of the Qin Dynasty wanted to live forever. He sent people to the islands to look for the longevity medicine, but failed. Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty also wanted to live an eternal life. He ordered that a big pool be dug at the back of his palace, complete with three artificial hills to represent Panglai and the other islands. So these legendary hills were built in the eastern capital of Luoyang during the Sui Dynasty and also in the Tang Dynasty capital of Chang an (today's Xian). Such a traditional style of gardening was flowed during the succeeding dynasties and Beihai Park was built after this traditional style.

In summer, Beihai Park is an ideal place to go to escape from the blazing summer heat. Tourists can paddle around in a bizarre assortment of boats. There are odd, duck-shaped paddle boats, and two types of motor boats: three-seated regular and one-person UFOs (you have to see it to understand). In winter, the lake freezes over and Beihai Park turns into a huge skating rink.


Beihai Park Tour

Located very near to Jingshan Park and the Forbidden, during the tour to Beihai Park, travelers could also pay a visit to other two famous attractions in one day. The excellent scenery will deeply impress you.