You may locate Beihai Park, sometimes referred to as North Sea Park, 500 meters to the west of the Forbidden City’s north entrance. Beihai Park is among Beijing’s most popular green spaces. The park as a whole span over 68 hectares, with the Beihai Lake taking up more than half of it. Europeans refer to it as the Winter Palace since it was once the imperial residence of several different dynasties. It has a one-thousand-year history.
Beihai existed during the Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties. The majority of the buildings still standing today were constructed in the Qing Dynasty, under the administration of Emperor Qianlong (1644-1911 A.D.). This area has served as the royal park for several Chinese dynasties, such as the Lion, Jin, Yuan, Ming, and Qing lineage.
Nowadays, Beihai Park is among the greatest of China’s traditional gardens because of its man-made hills, pavilions, halls, temples, and covered passageways. Beihai Park is a great spot to cool down in the summer.
Views of the Forbidden City’s golden tiles and scarlet walls, Jingshan Park’s five pavilions, Tuancheng (the Round City), and Zhongnanhai’s green waves may be seen from the top of White Dagoba Hill, where the majestic White Dagoba stands. It is also possible to have a broad perspective of Beijing’s high-rise buildings, the Museum of History, and the Main Hall of the People. One of Beijing’s most well-known picturesque areas is Beihai Park.
Beihai Park history
Several locals in China had the opinion that Beihai Park was constructed in accordance with an ancient Chinese folktale. According to legend, there are three mysterious mountains with the names Pengli, Yingzhou, and Fengzhang to the east of Bohai Bay. Based on this tale, the gods residing in these mountains have a sort of plant medication that may lead a person to endless life. For this reason, many emperors who could not find these three mountains were ordered to build a pool and a big garden and build their palaces on three hills. Some Chinese emperors who imitated the eternal life of the Magic Mountains include Emperor Qin Shihuang of the Qin Dynasty and Emperor Wu of the Western Han Dynasty.
Last but not least, Beihai Park was erected during the Liao Dynasty (1125–916) and was later renovated and rebuilt throughout the Jin, Ming, and Hai Ching dynasties, among others. The current scale and pattern of this park were made by the Qianlong Emperor of the Qing Dynasty. Since this park’s opening to the general public in 1925, thousands of people have traveled to China to explore it.
Over 70 hectares of land make up China Beihai Park, of which a lake occupies more than half. We locate an island-like core named Jade Flower in the center of the lake. This area is well-defined, as the White Dagoba tower is located in the middle of it. In addition, other scenic areas of Beihai include the eastern part of the beach, the northern part of the beach, in close proximity to the northern entrance are the botanical garden and the circle city.
White Dagoba building at the highest point of Beihai Park
The White Dagoba structure was constructed around 1651. The emperor’s Buddhist faith and desire for unity among the numerous Chinese peoples are two factors in the significance of this edifice. After being reconstructed after being damaged by an earthquake, this structure was once again strong.
At a height of roughly 37 meters, the White Dagoba now stands on a substantial stone base and draws a lot of attention. This structure includes 14 bronze bells as well as two umbrella-shaped canopies. Being the park’s highest point, this structure boasts a breathtaking view that many visitors find to be both exciting and alluring.
The Yongan Temple is in front of this structure. Several more tourist attractions, including Shanyin Hall, Zhengjue Hall, the Bell and Drum Towers, the Qiongdao Stone Tablets, etc., are also close by and may interest visitors.
Hao Pu Creek Garden in Beihai Park
By crossing the Zhishan Bridge, you can get to the beautiful area of the east coast view. There are other independent gardens in this area that caress your eyes just like a painting. Hao Pu Creek Garden was built in 1757 and gradually became known as one of the most beautiful surviving royal gardens in the history of China.
The name of this garden is taken from two rivers in Haoyi province named Hao and Paul. The construction of this building was ordered by the Qianlong Emperor with the aim of creating peace. For this reason, in this garden, you can find tangible signs of inducing peace and happiness.
Quiet Heart Studio
When you move from the eastern part of the beach to the western part, you will come to an area called Quiet Heart Studio or Jingxin. This is an independent garden area that was built during the Ming Dynasty and finally became big and famous during the Qing Dynasty. Inside this garden, there are several beautiful and stunning palaces, as well as pavilions, halls, corridors, towers, artificial hills, etc., which are designed in a beautiful and artistic way. During the Qing Dynasty, many members of the royal family used to visit this area to study and even relax.
The renowned Nine-Dragon Screen, one of China’s three most well-known Nine-Dragon Screens, is located to the northwest. It is the only screen with nine enormous dragons on either side (the other two are respectively in the Forbidden City and Datong, Shanxi Province). The Nine-Dragon Screen is approximately 90 feet (27 m) long, 21.8 feet (6.65 m) high, and 4.7 feet (1.42 m) thick.
It was constructed in 1756. The screen is embossed by 424 glazed tiles in seven different colors. On each side of the screen, there are nine enormous coiling dragons, and the two ends and eaves are decorated with smaller or larger dragons in various poses, for a startling total of 635 dragons. The Nine-Dragon Screen, which depicts the great methods of ancient Chinese arts and crafts, is still vivid in color and complete in look even after 200 years.
The Five-Dragon Pavilions are five pavilions joined by large ropes in the southwestern area of the Nine-Dragon Screen. The pavilions resemble a large dragon when viewed from a distance. While these pavilions were initially constructed in 1602, they underwent several renovations and repairs under the Qing Dynasty. These pavilions’ pillar carvings and paintings have added a great deal of tranquility and beauty to the area, ultimately making it a perfect setting for the ancient Chinese royal family.
The circular city, which has a height of 4.6 m and an area of 277 m, is located in the southwest corner of Beihai Park. This city attracts many tourists and has various parts such as halls, pavilions, towers, and most importantly Chengguang Hall. This hall has the most valuable jade Buddha statue dating back to the end of the Qing Dynasty. Inside this city, there is a famous restaurant called Fangshan, which provides very delicious food for tourists.
Beihai Park Access
The Drum and Bell Towers and the Forbidden City are both nearby, as is Behai Park. Line 5’s Zhangzizhonglu or Line 4’s Xisi are the closest subway stations.