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Beihai Park

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Beihai Park located in the center of Beijing City, which is a public park and former imperial garden.
It was first built in the 11th century, it is among the largest of all Chinese gardens and contains numerous historically important structures, palaces, and temples. The Beihai Park, as with many of Chinese imperial gardens, was built to imitate renowned scenic spots and architecture from various regions of China;The structures and scenes in the Beihai Park are described as masterpieces of gardening technique that reflects the style and the superb architectural skill and richness of traditional Chinese garden art.
In 1925, the place opened to be a public park. It is also connected at its northern end to the Shichahai.It is one of the most famous and beautiful parks in Beijing, Beihai is also one of the earliest examples of Asian-style gardening in the world.Beihai park is one of the oldest and best-preserved imperial gardens,

The history of Beihai Park can dated back to 1000 years ago,had something to do with the development of Beijing City.
It was founded by Qidans from the North in the Liao Dynasty, and Yanjing( present Beijing) became the secodary capital in 938.On the northeastern outskirts of the city, there was a vast lake called the "Golden Sea." It was the lake that was to become Beihai Lake.

beihai park_04.jpgIn 1179, Emperor Zhangzong of the Jin dynasty had a country resort built northeast of Zhongdu, the Jin capital, located in the southwestern part of modern Beijing. Taiye Lake was excavated along the Jinshui River and Daning Palace was erected on Qionghua Island in the lake.

In the Yuan Dyansty, during the regin of Kublai Khan,the Qionghua island was redesigned by various architects and officials.Taiye Lake was enclosed in the Imperial City of Yuan's new capital Dadu

After the Ming dynasty moved its capital to Beijing, construction on the existing Imperial City began in 1406. At this time, the Taiye Lake were divided into three lakes by bridges, Northern Sea (Beihai,北海), Central Sea (Zhonghai,中海) and Southern Sea (Nanhai,南海). The lakes were part of an extensive royal park called Xiyuan,which means western park in the west part of the Imperial City, Beijing.

Before Beihai was opened to the public in 1925, it had been closed for more than 10 years for the revolution of China politics.

Highlights of Beihai Park
White Pagoda:The White Pagoda or white tower with 40-meter in high.Standing on the highest point on Jade Flower Island, built to honour the visit of the 5th Dalai Lama in 1651. Its body is made of white stone. Sun, moon and flame engravings decorate the surface of the tower.It was destroyed by a earthquake in 1679 and rebuilt in the following year.Inside the structure are Buddhist scriptures, monk's mantles and alms bowl, and the bones of monks.
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Five-Dragon Pavilions:
To the southwest of the Nine-Dragon Screen lies the Five-Dragon Pavilions - five connected pavilions with spires and pointed upswept eaves. From a distance, they appear together like a huge dragon. Built first in 1602 and repaired several times in Qing Dynasty, these five pavilions, half over the water, stand on the north bank of the lake opposite the Jade Flowery Islet. There are many exquisite carvings and paintings on the girders and pillars of the pavilions which make the Five-Dragon Pavilions a delightful place for the royal members in ancient China to relax and appreciate the natural beauty.

Nine Dragon Wall: A Nine-Dragon Wall or Nine-Dragon Screen is a type of screen wall with reliefs of nine different Chinese dragons. Such walls are typically found in imperial Chinese palaces and gardens.The Nine-Dragon Wall lies north of the Five-Dragon Pavilion. It was built in 1402 and is one of three walls of its kind in China. It is made of glazed bricks of seven-colors. Nine complete dragons playing in the clouds decorate both sides of the wall.
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The Round City:
A spacious building with a double-eaved roof made of yellow glazed tiles bordered in green. Inside there is a 1.6 m tall Buddha presented to the Guangxu Emperor of the Qing dynasty by a Khmer (Cambodian) king. It is carved from a single piece of pure white jade inlaid with precious stones. The Eight-Nation Alliance damaged the statue's left arm in the Battle of Beijing in 1900.

Admission Fee: CNY10 for peak season, CNY5 for low season;CNY10 for Qionghua Island and CNY5 for Big boat dock.
Opening Hours:
6: 00-22;00(Qionghua Island 8:30-18:00; Big boat dock 9:00-18:00; Samll boat dock  9:00-18:00)
Time for Visit:3 hours

How to get there
Bus Route:
1. Take bus 5, 101, 103, 109, 124, 128 or tour bus 1 or 2 and get off at Beihai Station.
2. Take bus 3, 13, 42, 107, 111, 118, 612, 701 or tour bus 3 to Beihai Beimen (North Gate of Beihai Park) Station.
Metro Route:
Take Subway Line 6 and get off at Beihai Bei Station. Go out from Exit B and walk 5 minutes east to get to the north gate of the park.

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