Jingshan ParkA ~ Z

Introducing the Jingshan Park

Jingshan or Prospect Hill is a small hill immediately behind the north gate of the Forbidden City. It also borders Beihai Park to the west. Construction of Jingshan dates back 1,000 years ago during the Liao and Jin Dynasties, but the present 43 meters hill was constructed by Emperor Yongle (1360-1424) in the Ming Dyansty. It is also called Coal Hill because large amount of coal used to be put here when the Forbidden City was being built. Built of the soil from the moat of the Forbidden City, the Jingshan Park used to serve as a private imperial garden and for protecting the Imperial Palace from the evil wind from the north according to Fengshui. It is one of the most important also the highest buildings along the 8 km south-to-north central axis of Beijing. Jingshan was opened to the public in 1928 and a subsequent park was also established in 1949 which covers 23 hectares.

There are five individual peaks in Jingshan and each of them is topped by a beautiful pavilion, which were used by the emperor and officials for gathering and leisure purposes. The biggest pavilion is located on the very top of Jingshan Hill, which is the best location to have a panoramic view of the Forbidden City and downtown Beijing. There were also five copper Buddha statues in each of the pavilion but looted by the Eight Power Allied Forces in 1900. The present five pavilions are actually replicas with a giant Buddha statue in the highest and biggest pavilion. For Chinese people, Jingshan Park is more famous as the place where the last Ming Emperor Chongzhen hung himself in 1644, by the time the peasant revolt army entered Beijing. Right now, it is a popular place with the senior locals for doing morning excise, liking practicing Taichi, singing and dancing. It is also a popular place with the photographers in Beijing to gather in the dust of a clear day, waiting to take a panoramic picture of the Forbidden City with the lights turning on. There are four entrances to get inside the Jingshan Park; the most convenient one is the south gate which is 100 meters across from the north gate of the Forbidden City. The west entrance is normally used as an exit which is close to the east gate of Beihai, another imperial park nearby.

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Qiwang Hall

The Hall was built in the fifteenth year of Emperor Qianlong’s reign (1750) for the students of official school to pay their homage to Confucius. Some exhibitions had been held here during the time of the Republic of China. On Feb. 25th, 1937, more than 600 pictures of ancient Chinese cultural relics that took away by British were exhibited here by the Forbidden City.

Wanchun Pavilion

Wanchun Pavilion is the biggest pavilion and sits on the very top of Jingshan Hill. It is also the best place to have a panoramic view of the Forbidden City and the city. There used to be a gilded wooden statue of Buddha Vairocana enshrined inside. Unfortunately, the original statue was partially harmed 1900 and totally destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. The present Buddha statue was a replica built in 1998 according to its original design.

Additional Information

Emperor Chongzhen

Emperor Zhu Youjian (1611-1644), reign name Chongzhen, is the sixteenth emperor of the Ming Dynasty. He is the fifth son of Ming Emperor Guangzong (1582-1620). His father used to have many sons but most of them died young, except Zhou Youjian and his elderly brother Zhu Youxiao who later succeeded the throne. Because Zhu Youxiao (reign name Tianqi) had no son, Chongzhen was summoned by him and succeeded his throne at the age 17. He ruled China from 1627 to the end of the Ming Dynasty in 1644. Chongzhen tried to save the falling Ming Dynasty, but it was almost impossible to do that because of court corruption and empty treasury. Another reason that deemed the downfall of the Ming is that Chongzhen was suspicious of the few capable ministers. He executed one of the most famous and loyal generals in Chinese history, Ming General Yuan Chonghuan, who had almost single-handedly maintained the northern frontier against the Manchus at the end of Ming Dynasty. Chongzhen’s reign was also accelerated by the widespread drought, famine and peasant revolt, especially the uprisings led by Zhang Xianzhong and Li Zicheng. These could not be put down by the already hand-pressed Ming armies that were fighting against the Manchu in the north. In April 1644, Li Zhicheng was ready to take Beijing, the capital of the Ming Dynasty. Rather than face capture, humiliation and probable execution by the peasants, Chongzhen fled to Jingshan and committed suicide by hanging himself from a scholar tree, after killing several of his daughters and concubines. Together with his wife, he was buried in the smallest Ming tomb Siling which was originally built for his concubine.

Li Zicheng

Li Zicheng (1606-1645) was the leader of the peasant uprising army in the late Ming Dynasty who was called "Chuang Wang". He was born in Mizhi, Shaanxi Province. In 1630, he joined the uprising, rising rapidly to become a general under Gao Yingxiang. With the death of Gao, he took command of the rebel forces in present-day Henan Province. Li Zicheng won the support of the people in this disaster-stricken area by a policy of land reform and abolition of agricultural taxes. Li's army grew rapidly to become a million-strong force. Wherever Li Zicheng's army went, it distributed the property of the landlords among the people. In 1644, Li Zicheng established the Dashun Dynasty in Xi'an. In the same year, he marched on to Beijing. As the rebels entered the capital, Emperor Chongzhen, the last Ming emperor, committed suicide by hanging himself on Jingshan Hill. Later, the peasant uprising army led by Li Zicheng was defeated by the Qing Army shortly after they founded the Dashun Dynasty. In 1645, Li Zicheng died in his last battle in Jiugong Mountain, Hubei Province. Nowadays, on the way to the Great Wall at Juyongguan or Ming Tombs, people could see a statue of Li Zicheng riding a horse and facing Beijing.

Opening Hours

06:30 –20:00 (Nov. – Mar.)

06:00 –21:00 (Apr. – Oct.)

Price

Entrance Fee: ¥ 10

Address

No.44 Jingshan Xijie, Xicheng district, Beijing

(北京市西城区景山西街44号)

Distance

Downtown

Getting There

Walking:

It’s just across from the Exit of the Forbidden City (North Gate)

Taxi:

请带我到景山东门

(Please take me to theEast Gate of Jingshan Park)

Travel Tips

Precious Peony Flower Exhibition from the end of April to the middle of May

Last Updated

2018-05-04 14:04:32

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