Friday, June 30, 2017

Jingshan Park in Beijing

Directly across from the Forbidden City Gate of Divine Prowess (north gate) is Jinshan Park. Looking toward the park from the Gate, I can see the tower on top and head over there for the view.

Exiting the Forbidden City, Jingshan Park across the street

Jingshan Park was originally an Imperial Garden, an important part of the Imperial Palace, with a history of almost 1000 years.  Rising 46 meters (150 feet) above the Forbidden City, it offers spectacular views across Beijing.  The hill itself was constructed with dirt removed to form the moats of the Imperial Palace.

Steps up

 View from the top

Looking down on the Forbidden City

The small pavilion at the top of the hill holds a small store, a large buddha statue (looking out over the Forbidden City), and many tourists taking pictures.

Buddha in the pavilion on top

As I descend the far side of the hill, into the lower park property, I find that it is peony festival time and the park is filled with peonies planted in beds everywhere.

 Peony festival

Overwhelmed, I wander and wander, admiring the peonies, a flower that I frankly don't run across very often.  Finally, I've had my fill of peonies and head toward the exit.  But first, some more historical notes.  A rock marker indicates where Chongzhen, the last emperor of the Ming Dynasty, hanged himself in 1644 when a peasant uprising army broke into the city and the emperor fled from the palace.

 Markers of royal hanging

On that note, I exit the park, to ground-level views of the north side of the Forbidden City and the moat around it (a great spot for wedding photos).

 Forbidden City, moat

Professional photographer, great setting

I think I've filled the day and it's time to head back to the hotel and think about tomorrow.

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