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Origin of Jingshan Park

In Ming Dynasty, an artificial hill called Prospect Hill (Jingshan in Chinese) was piled up by the earth from digging the moat of Forbidden City. Then Jingshan Park with affiliated buildings centered on Prospect Hill was built. Occupying an area of about 220,000 square meters, it became backyard of the royal family. The emperors and their sons usually practiced riding and shooting here. Jingshan Park also serves as a Fengshui shield to protect Forbidden City from evil spirits. In the center of Jingshan Park is an artificial hill called Jingshan, namely Prospect Hill. Many clamber to the top of Jingshan Hill to get a panorama of Forbidden City and Beijing City.

Highlights of Jingshan Park

Though Jingshan Park is not very big, you can have an enjoyable experience. There are ancient towers and colorful flowers for sightseeing and there are many local people playing interesting traditional instruments. The most exciting thing is watching Forbidden City in sunset time.

Getting a Perfect View of Forbidden City

The central pavilion (Wanchun Pavilion) on the top of Prospect hill provides a perfect prospective of Forbidden City and you can clearly see the palace’s traditional layout and vast architectures from above. The climb has many steps involved, but it is quite easy with helpful handrails. When the sun goes down, you can get amazed by the russet roofing of Forbidden City and the skyline of Beijing City in distance.

Apart from the panoramic view, Jingshan Park is also an ideal site to shoot the north corner tower of Forbidden City. In the clear days, the corner tower, the surrounding trees, the moat and the reflections make up a harmonious composition of a picture which is the pursuit of many photographers.

Jingshan Park Seeing Forbidden City from Jingshan Park

Admiring the Old Architectures

Qiwang Tower (绮望楼):Standing at the foot of Jingshan Hill, Qiwang Tower was firstly built to enshrine the memorial tablet of Confucius during the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1736 ~ 1796) in Qing Dynasty. Now it acts as a cultural exhibition site for calligraphy, paintings and porcelain. Decorated with double eaves and glazed tiled roof and surrounded by white marble stone fence, it fully shows the majesty of imperial buildings.

Five Pavilions on the Hill (山脊五亭): Prospect Hill has five featured peaks and there is one elegantly-designed pavilion erected on each peak, including Zhoushang Pavilion (周赏亭), Guanmiao Pavilion (观妙亭), Wanchun Pavilion (万春亭), Jifang Pavilion (辑芳亭) and Fulan Pavilion (富览亭). All the pavilions are delicately designed and decorated and you can explore the architectural style of ancient China. Wanchun Pavilion, located on the central peak, is the best site for bird’s-eye view of the surrounding.

Jingshan Park

Pavilions in Jingshan Park

Enjoying the Colorful Flowers

Most of area of Jingshan Park is covered with old trees and many other previous species of plants. It has peony show in spring, lotus show in summer and chrysanthemum show in autumn. The flowers in different seasons have attracted numerous tourists and shutterbugs. Jingshan Park has a long history of cultivating peony. There are over 500 species of peony grown in Jingshan Park and you can have a great time by watching these beautiful flowers. When spring comes, especially in April and May when peony flowers are in full blossom, Jingshan Park becomes a sea of colorful flowers. Besides, there are many other kinds of flowers as well, like peach flowers, jasminum nudiflorum, tulips, rose… If you love the blazing colors of flowers, just visit Jingshan Park in spring.

Jingshan Park Peony Flowers in Jingshan Park

Seeing Local People Playing traditional Instrument

In fact, Jingshan Park is a park for locals nowadays. You can see many local people doing their daily exercises there, like singing, dancing, practicing Taichi, playing Chinese chess, writing with water onto the concrete, etc. In addition to have a good slice of local culture, it is also available to join some of them if you have interest.

Jingshan Park Do morning excercise in Jingshan Park

Location and Transportation

Located in the downtown of Beijing, Jingshan Park borders Beihai Park in west and faces Forbidden City in south. It is just separated from Forbidden City by the palace moat.

  • Adjacent to Forbidden City
  • 7km to Temple of Heaven, about 30 minutes’ driving
  • 18km to Summer Palace, about 45 minutes’ driving
  • 70km to Mutianyu Great Wall, about 1.5 hours’ driving

With lots of bus stations nearby, like Xibanqiao Station (西板桥站), Jingshan Back Street Station (景山后街站), Jingshan East Street Station (景山东街站), Jingshan East Gate Station (景山东门站), etc., you can easily get to Jingshan Park by a public bus. Subway Line 8 is also accessible to take you to Shichahai Station (什刹海站), from which you can walk about 1km to the north gate of Jingshan Park.

Travel with China Discovery

If you want to get rid of hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation, you can book a private tour package which covers sightseeing, dining and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Mutianyu Great Wall with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.

Jingshan Park Location Map Jingshan Park Location Map
Click to Enlarge

How to Plan a Beijing Tour with Jingshan Park

Beijing is always known as the premier tourist destination for the first comers to China. It takes at least 2 or 3 days to explore the land marks in Beijing. In 3 short days, you can not only admire the collection of imperial architectures, like Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven, but also get amazed by China's modern buildings (Bird's Nest and Water Cube). Of course, you can’t miss panoramic view of Forbidden City from Jingshan Park. Then you will enjoy a hiking experience on man-made wonder – Great Wall of China. Moreover, riding a rickshaw to experience Beijing Hutongs and visiting a local family will make your trip memorable as well. It is also available to take part in some featured classes in Hutong, like paper cuttings, Chinese hand-writing and facial makeup painting. With one more day, pay a visit Summer Palace – the largest and best-preserved royal garden in China. It is also recomended to travel 798 Art Zone to get an artsy vibe which stands in contrast to the old atmosphere of Beijing's historic sights.

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[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >