After a long and steep climb onto Jingshan one finally reaches the Top of the Hill. Here stands the Wan Chun Ting, or Everlasting Spring Pavilion.
The WanChun Pavilion stands at atop Jingshan or Prospect Hill at Beijing's Jingshan Park, the Highest Point of Beijing during the Last 491 Years of China's Imperial Dynasties.
During the Time of the Dynasties it was know as "Dominating Hill ", a name that is easily understood once standing at the Wan Chun Ting. The Everlasting Spring Pavilion not only offers a Unique full 360 degrees view of the entire City skyline, the entire Hill seems to dominate the surrounding City as there are no Highrises or other vantage points nearby.
From the Top one can overview DianMen Dajie' with at the end the Drum Tower, Beihai Park with its White Dagoba , The Imperial Palace grounds and a wide overall view of the Ancient City grounds.
The Drum Tower is the place where the Ancient Imperial Watch was kept, sounding out the morning and days
Watches over the City and Imperial Palace.
The Drum Tower also has an important function as the Nations Clock during New Years Festivities.
Today it is a popular tourist visit. Tourists often board a ricksaw at the Drum Tower, then enjoy a tour of the nearby Houhai Lake and Hutong Areas, then wind up at Jin Ding Bridge. The Jin Ding Bridge is at the Center of the Houhai
/Shichahai Bar Area, which is a Popular rest & hang out spot famous for its evening lights, music, jobless artist and entertainment. Although for a brief while the area became the boozing spot for everyone much to the detriment of local inhabitants currently it knows several well established bars renowned for their quality live music making it a sure stop off for music lovers.
The Pavilions' decorations are in Ming Style with glazed green and yellow tiles on the surrounding walls. In the distance BeiHai or North Lake Park with its Famed White Dagoba, another Landmark of Beijing, created for the occasion of the visit of the 5Th Dalai Lama of Tibet to the newly established Qing Court in the 17Th Century AD.
Clearly visible on a nice day in Beijing - The Beihai Park's Buddhist White Dagoba , the North Lake at Beihai Park and in the far distance the Western Jundu Mountains.
(On windless days smog -> can drasticly reduce the view.)
The White Dagoba at Beihai Park is another Ancient Beijing Landmark.
Since we are up to the 14Th Dalai Lama , by now, I am sure you can imagine the Dagoba's history. We found it a very worthwhile place to visit in many respects. For more please view the Beihai Park Report Pages.
10x Zoom : The Beihai White Dagoba, a 17th Century Buddhist Shrine. Note the important small Pagoda standing in front of the White Pagoda. This is another spot with an excellent view of the Beijing Skyline.
The Dagoba was rebuilt in 1741. In 1973 AD it was damaged in a heavy earthquake , but it has been restored to its former Glory long since.
10x Zoom : The Beihai White Dagoba can bee clearly seen from within the Forbidden City and as depicted from Jingshan or Prospect Hill, north of the Forbidden City.
Turning your head South-ward...
An absolutely stunning overview of the Ancient Imperial Palace and its grounds !!
Sitting down at the WanChun Platform once can enjoy the absolute best view of the Beijing Skyline , 45.7 meters above the Plain.
The WuMen is the Southern Gate into the so called Forbidden City and is the Traditional Main and South Entrance of the complex and is today the only point where visitors can gain entry with their tickets. Today, the north gate serves merely as an exit point for visitors. Once having left the Palace Museum, the flock can choose from a multitude of options; either being lured into a lazy Hutong rickshaw ride by one of those pesky men loitering too close to the north gate for comfort, or go for the fit option of exploring the vast spaces of Jingshan Park. Others just get on their tourist buses and go home.
Standing atop the Jingshan at the Wanchun Pavilion one can clearly make out the Impressive Watch-towers of the Palace,
one standing at each of the four corners of th exterior walls..
It is possible to walk around the Gugong Walls, in both directions of the clock. However the area beyond to the west is known as Zhongnanhai, a highly secure and secretive area that serves as the the Communist Party Headquarters.
Not entirely surprisingly this Zhongnanhai compound in its entirety is off limits to Photography and the common people. All photography is shunned where possible.
As one is leaving WanChun Pavilion and the beautiful views of the Palace the main route continues down the western flank of Jingshan Hill where it passes several Pavilions before reaching down to the bottom of the Park.
One can however, descend in all four directions, east, west, south (front) and north (back).
At the north east corner at the foot of the Hill one can find the Monument to Ming Emperor Chongzhen. There is also a rose garden, a small place north of the Hill and plenty of walking space to explore within the Park. Make use of adjacent Map to find your way from one point to another.
Some History : When the Republican Army that resulted from a revolt against the Qing Dynasty took up positions in Beijing in 1911 AD,
the symbolic shot-to-the head of China's Last Dynasty was fired from here. Desiring to pressure the Manchu Qing House into abdication , the Republican leadership ordered 1 canon-shell fired from this point.
The bomb, landing in a Palace Garden Pond and doing little damage rattled Court Nerves. Days later the Ching House, Emperor Pu Yi declared his Abdication ending the Last and Final Dynasty of China.
Th Emperor would remain living in the Palace until 1919 when he fled with Japanese help to the Qing homeland in the North, making it the Japanese Puppet State of Manchukuo and himself a war-criminal.
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When viewing North one is looking exactly along the Ancient Cities' North South-Axis. In view are the Temple of Imperial Longevity which stands below Jingshan Hill on its northern side with behind it the important DianMen Dajie'.
A Clear View south along the Central Axis of the City. In Front, Shen Wu Men - Gate of Divine Might, in between the Palace Museum and in the Far Distance TiananMen Square (Photo 2003).
Overview of Northern Beijing Skyline from Jingshan. Below the Green of Jingshan Park, the Red Gates of Shou Huang Hall and the Childrens Palace and beyond DianMen Dajie' with at its End the Drum Tower (photo 2002 AD).
The Shou Huang Hall, DianMen Wai Dajie' and Drum Tower seen from Jingshan (photo 2002 AD).
Visitors overlook Beihai Park, The North Lake and XiCheng District beyond from the Everlasting Spring Pavilion at Jingshan.
The Wan Chun Pavilion has the Perfect Views of the most romantic place in Beijing, which is why the Qianlong Emperor counted it among his Favorite spots.
Visitors squint against the bright sun to make out the structures of the Central City and the Palace Museum below.
A Detailed View of the North-Western Watchtower and the Moat of the Palace Museum from Wan Chun Ting (Photo Movember 2003).
Bright and Clear Skies over the Palace Museum in 2002 AD. Since increased car traffic & industry have soiled the skies of Beijing considerably.
Open Jingshan Park Map.
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Large Scale Map o/t Palace Museum, all structures.